These are details of one of the paintings in the stash that inspired Barbara Levine (former director of exhibitions, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) to write ‘Finding Frida Kahlo‘. The trunks of materials (diaries, letters, recipes, paintings, stuffed hummingbirds, and so on) have been called forgeries by some interested parties in Mexico (ArtSlant article, NY Times article, Christopher Knight’s take), and I am curious to see how this all plays out.
Detecting forgeries is a difficult art, because the science can be faked (although sometimes people are so sure of their ‘eye’ that they refuse to believe scientific evidence to the contrary, e.g. de Groot insisting that ‘Merry Cavalier‘ was by Frans Hals despite the fact that some of the paints used were not developed until long after Hals had died), and of course mistakes are made both ways (a collector of Rembrandt burned one of his paintings thinking it was a forgery, later it turned out it probably wasn’t).
Both those claiming these were Frida Kahlo’s belongings and those crying fraud have a stake in the outcome, influencing the way they see these pretties.
I do love Frida as a deer, a friend almost bought this version years ago, but didn’t, because it would have been a quite a stretch financially – of course looking back he thinks it would have been worth the sacrifice. So often in life it would be nice to have the benefit of hindsight ahead of time, eh?
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