The famous houses that Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera inhabited in the outskirts of Mexico City, the Casa Azul in Coyoacán -Frida’s birthplace and favorite place of residence- and the “studio-houses” in San Ángel -designed by radical architect Juan O’Gorman- are inseparable from their lives, work, and personalities. Little is known however of the couple’s third house. Long thought to be an “apartment,” this was in fact their urban residence, where Frida moved into after her heartbreaking split from Diego in 1934. This lecture will offer a historical and visual tour of Frida and Diego’s three houses in Mexico City: where they lived, loved, and betrayed each other, where they conceived and created their art work, where they gathered their amazing collection of artifacts while coexisting with exotic plants and animals, and where they met the friends and acquaintances that -together with them- formed one of the most important circles of artists and intellectuals of post-revolutionary Mexico. This lecture will present for the first time to the U.S. audience Frida and Diego’s “other” house in Mexico City, which was recently discovered by the author and presenter, Juan Manuel Heredia.
Juan Manuel Heredia is Associate Professor of Architecture at Portland State University and holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. He teaches architectural design, history, and theory, focusing on 20th century Mexico. He is the author of The First Modern Building in Mexico (2020), co-editor (with Nicholas Temple and Andrzej Piotrowski) of The Routledge Handbook of the Reception of Classical Architecture (2019), and co-author (with Miquel Adrià) of Juan Sordo Madaleno 1916-1985 (2013). Recently, he published the article “The Other House for Diego and Frida and the Mystery of Eileen Gray in Mexico,” which unearths a hitherto unknown house for these Mexican artists.