"Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving" Digital Curator Discussion and Ex-Voto Drawing Workshop

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Frida Kahlo in Blue Dress by Nickolas Murray

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo in Blue Dress, New York City, 1939. © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at the highly anticipated exhibition Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving led by guest curator Circe Henestrosa and advising curator Gannit Ankori, with opening remarks by Hillary Olcott, coordinating curator and associate curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Following the conversation, join teaching artist Raphael Noz to explore the ex-voto painting tradition, which inspired the work of Frida Kahlo. Ex-voto or votive paintings are a tradition of folk art that pay tribute to divine intervention in personal calamities, as well as providing an inadvertent catalogue of human misfortune. 

The following materials are needed for the activity: 

  • Pencil 
  • 12”x 8” Cardboard (landscape) 
  • Acrylic Paints *or color pencils/pastels 
  • Paintbrushes (if using paint) 

*If planning to paint prep cardboard by painting white. 


Please note that this event is an exclusive benefit for all members at the Individual level and above. 

Questions about the event or need help registering? Contact us at specialevents@famsf.org.

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About the Curators

Circe Henestrosa

Circe Henestrosa is an independent fashion curator and head of the School of Fashion at LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. She organized the exhibition Appearances Can Be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo (2012) at the Museo Frida Kahlo in Coyoacán, Mexico, and also co-organized the blockbuster exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up (2018) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her curatorial practice explores how garments and material culture inform and reflect social-cultural aspects of fashion within the exhibition context. She is currently reading for her PhD at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, focusing on the areas of fashion and disability. Her publications include Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, Frida by Ishiuchi, and Building a New Model for Museums in the 21st Century.

Gannit Ankori

Gannit Ankori is a professor of fine arts and the chair in Israeli art, department of fine arts and Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Ankori is internationally renowned for her groundbreaking scholarship on Frida Kahlo. Her books include Frida Kahlo (Critical Lives series, 2013; reissued in 2018 and translated into Chinese in 2018); Frida Kahlo: Art, Life Diary (2004; in Hebrew); and Imaging Her Selves: Frida Kahlo’s Poetics of Identity and Fragmentation (2002). Major essays include “Frida Kahlo: The Fabric of her Art” (Tate Modern, 2005) and “Frida Kahlo: Posing, Composing, Exposing” (published in conjunction with the 2018 Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up). Ankori has been involved in three Kahlo exhibitions as curator, content advisor, or curatorial advisor in New York and London. 

Hillary Olcott

Hillary Olcott is associate curator of the arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and is the de Young's coordinating curator for Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving. She was the co-curator of the ongoing exhibitions Of Courts and Cosmos: Art of the Ancient Maya and Native Artists of Western North America: In Dialogue with the Natural World at the de Young museum, and she served as the Fine Arts Museums’ institutional curator for the major special exhibition Teotihuacan: City of Water, City of Fire (2017–2018).

About the Exhibition

Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving examines how politics, gender, trauma, and national identity influenced Kahlo’s diverse modes of creativity. The exhibition features highly personal items that came to light in 2004 at her lifelong home, La Casa Azul (now Museo Frida Kahlo) in Mexico City—including approximately thirty photographs, twenty vibrant Tehuana costumes from her wardrobe, and personalized braces and prosthetics—alongside paintings and drawings by the iconic artist and photographs reflecting her unique self-fashioning.

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