Day Five: Frida, Diego, Jeff


The Frida Kahlo Museum is the place to visit in this section of the city. The museum is located in the house where she lived with her husband and fellow artist, Diego Rivera. I was aware of Frida Kahlo and had seen some of her paintings, but really knew very little about her. Here’s a little of what I learned at the museum.

The Casa Azul, or Frida Kahlo Museum

Frida had suffered from polio as a child, but despite her hardships, she achieved her goal of attending medical school. One day on the way home from school, her bus was hit by a streetcar and she suffered serious injuries. She would no longer be able to have children, would eventually have her right leg amputated, and spent her entire life dealing with the pain inflicted by her polio and the accident.

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly? (Frida Kahlo)

While recuperating in bed, she took up painting as a way to pass the time. A mirror was installed above her bed and her life as an artist began. She is most famous for her self-portraits. She became one of Mexico’s best-known artists and was loved around the world. Although she struggled with physical ailments, her life is an inspiration to many. There are many more facets of Frida Kahlo’s life, each as interesting as the other.

They thought I was a Surrealist, but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality. (Frida Kahlo)


Diego Rivera first met Frida Kahlo when she was a teenager. They wed in 1929 when she was 22 and he was 42. The relationship was tumultuous, to say the least.

There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst. (Frida Kahlo)

Diego Rivera is best known for his murals depicting the lives of miners, farmers, laborers, and peasants. Rivera is credited with bringing art to the people by painting large murals in public spaces.


Diego’s desk
Diego’s brushes


I don’t think he knows this, but I first met Jeff when he was about five years old. His father was the P.E. teacher in my school at the time and we met up while boating with friends in Watch Hill. Many years later, Jeff became a student teacher of my colleague and friend, Cindy. He is now a social studies teacher at Ledyard High School. So why is he on this page with two famous Mexican artists?

It turns out that Jeff also hopped on a plane last Saturday to spend a week exploring Mexico City on his own. He also had many questions and concerns expressed by family and friends. He also knows that the real Mexico City, the one we are experiencing, is nothing like the impressions we form from all the negative media we consume and fear-inducing statements (lies) frequently shouted by politicians.

Thanks to my colleague, Elaine, Jeff and I realized we were both here and decided to meet at the Frida Kahlo Museum this morning. We had a great time learning at the museum and sharing our experiences in Mexico City as well as other travel stories. It’s always exciting to meet a fellow traveler who loves to learn about a new culture, travel off the beaten path, and see the world from a new perspective. And to Jeff’s parents: Don’t worry, he is safe, responsible, and having the time of his life. (Join him on his next adventure!)

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can. (Frida Kahlo)

Special Exhibit: Frida’s Dresses

Frida was known for her style, but underneath her beautiful dresses, there was a story of dealing with her physical disabilities.

More Photos from Day

Bed with mirror

Comments (12):

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:03

      I’ve always wanted to see that movie, but never got around to it. Now I will for sure. Nice to hear from you!

  1. Betsy Flanagan

    April 19, 2018 at 06:56

    Frida was certainly talented accomplished so much dispute her disabilities and Diego! Thanks for bringing us her story

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:04

      Yes, she is, and there’s a lot more to her story as well.

  2. Jo-Ann

    April 19, 2018 at 07:21

    Thanks for sharing your adventures!! So glad you and Jeff were able to get together!! I met him the same day you did….on the boats! What a fun day!! Enjoy the rest of your adventure!!

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:05

      That was a fun day, but so long ago! I’m meeting Jeff again this morning for another adventure. Thanks for reading, Jo-Ann.

  3. Lori Liguori

    April 19, 2018 at 07:40

    What a fabulous adventure…….the pictures are just gorgeous! Hi Jeff!

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:06


  4. Diane Weisman

    April 19, 2018 at 08:50

    So happy to see you are enjoying another great adventure!

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:07

      Hi Diane! I meant to email you to let you know I wasn’t going to the Cape, but I guess you’ve figured that out! Hope you’re having a nice break.

  5. Deidre

    April 19, 2018 at 09:36

    WOW! What an inspiration Frida was and is to all of us. I knew nothing about her and so glad you shared the photos and bio on her. She is inspiring to say the least.
    Continued joy and safe travels to you and Jeff too!

    • Tim Flanagan

      April 20, 2018 at 09:09

      Thanks, Deidre. I also knew very little and truly enjoyed learning about her life at the museum.


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