Exhibition: ‘Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray’ at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY

Exhibition dates: 8th May – 5th July, 2009


“An exhibition of photographs of the acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken by her friend and lover, the internationally renowned portrait photographer Nickolas Muray (1892-1965), will be on view at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery from May 8 through July 5, 2009. ‘Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, From the Collection of the Nickolas Muray Archives’ celebrates Kahlo’s life and work and comprises approximately fifty color and black-and-white photographs, along with archival material, including excerpts from letters between Kahlo and Muray. The installation in Buffalo will feature Frida Kahlo’s Self- Portrait with Monkey, 1938, from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection.

Born in Hungary in 1892, Nickolas Muray came to the United States in 1913, marking the beginning of his forty-five-year career living and working in New York City. Originally hired by Condé Nast Publications to prepare illustrations for magazines, in 1920 Muray set up a photography studio at his home in Greenwich Village. Following an assignment in 1921 for Harper’s Bazaar magazine to photograph the Broadway star Florence Reed, Muray’s career as a portrait and celebrity photographer took off. Soon he was photographing “everybody who was anybody” and his work was regularly featured in such publications as Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Ladies’ Home Journal.

Nickolas Muray and Frida Kahlo first met in Mexico in 1931 and soon began a love affair that lasted ten years and continued as a friendship that endured all their lives. The images included in this exhibition, dating from 1937 to 1940, were taken during the height of the couple’s on-again, off-again, ten-year love affair. The photographs included were selected from the Nickolas Muray Archives and capture the exotic mystery and proud beauty of Frida Kahlo through the eyes of this accomplished portrait photographer who loved her deeply.”

Text from the Artdaily.org website


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida Kahlo' c.1940


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida Kahlo’


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida with Magenta Rebozo, New York' 1939


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida with Magenta Rebozo, New York’


Nickolas Muray. 'Friday on White Bench, New York' 1939


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida on White Bench, New York’


Frida Kahlo. 'Self-Portrait with Monkey' 1938


Frida Kahlo
‘Self-Portrait with Monkey’


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida with Blue Satin Blouse, New York' 1939


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida with Blue Satin Blouse, New York’



“Forty-seven exquisite color and black-and-white photographs of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo by the American photographer Nickolas Muray are featured in this exhibition organized and circulated by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services. Muray and Kahlo first met in Mexico in 1931 and soon began a love affair that lasted ten years and continued as an enduring friendship throughout their lives. The photographs, selected from the Nickolas Muray Archives, capture the exotic mystery and proud beauty of Frida Kahlo through the eyes of this accomplished portrait photographer, who loved her deeply. Organized at the Albright-Knox by Associate Curator Holly E. Hughes, the exhibition will also include reproductions of Kahlo’s letters to Muray, explanatory wall texts, and an educational brochure.”

Text from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery website


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida, Mexico, 1940' c.1940


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida, Mexico, 1940’


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida Painting the Two Fridas, Coyoacan' 1939


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida Painting the Two Fridas, Coyoacan’


Nickolas Muray. 'Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacan' 1939


Nickolas Muray
‘Frida with Olmeca Figurine, Coyoacan’



Albright-Knox Art Gallery

1285 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14222-1096

Opening hours: Wed – Thurs 10 – 5pm, Friday 10 – 10pm, Sat – Sun 10 – 5pm
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, and Independence, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days.

Albright-Knox Art Gallery website

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6 Responses to “Exhibition: ‘Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray’ at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo NY”

  1. 1 Brenda
    January 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Is there any way to find out about the copyright privileges to any of these pictures? If I needed to use one for educational purposes at my university, can I?

    • 2 Dr Marcus Bunyan
      January 15, 2011 at 3:51 am

      Hi presumably because the photographs are being used in an educational and not a commercial context this would be ok.
      Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use point 1 below:

      17 U.S.C. § 107
      Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
      1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
      2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
      3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
      4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
      The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.[1]

  2. June 5, 2010 at 5:39 am

    I should just say that this is a wonderful set of photos. I especially like the second two.

  3. June 4, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I presume that should be “Frida on a white bench”, not “Friday on a white bench”

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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