Harry Ransom Center docents are volunteer guides who lead daily tours of the Center’s exhibitions. In the months leading up to exhibition openings, docents work closely with exhibition curators to gain a more complete understanding of exhibition items and content. The docent training process involves readings, discussion, and intense familiarization with the exhibition. Read more
The Ransom Center will be closed Christmas Eve, Thursday, December 24, and on Christmas Day, Friday, December 25. The Ransom Center Galleries will close early at 5 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, Thursday, December 31. The Ransom Center will be closed on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1. Read more
The Ransom Center celebrates the homecoming of one of its most famous and frequently borrowed art works, the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s “Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird” (1940). Read more
Frida Kahlo’s Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird and Still Life with Parrot and Fruit, from the Harry Ransom Center’s Nickolas Muray collection of Mexican art, are currently on view at the New York Botanical Garden’s exhibition Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life. Running through November 1, the exhibition Read more
Meet the Staff is a Q&A series on Cultural Compass that highlights the work, experience, and lives of staff at the Harry Ransom Center. Diana has a Bachelor of Arts in Conservation from Bogotá, Colombia and she specialized in Photograph conservation in Mexico City, Mexico. She has worked in private workshops and labs and came to the Ransom Center following her work at the Frida Kahlo Museum and the National School for Conservation (ENCRyM) both in Mexico City.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), one of the Ransom Center’s most famous and frequently borrowed works of art, is on display through July 28.
Since 1990 the painting has been on almost continuous loan, featured in exhibitions in more than 25 museums in the United States and around the world in countries such as Australia, Canada, France, and Spain. View a map of where the painting has traveled in recent years.
The painting was most recently on view in the three-venue exhibition In Wonderland: The Surrealist Activities of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States, organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and exhibited subsequently at the Musée National des beaux-arts du Quebec in Quebec City and at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. The painting travels next to The ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Ishøj, Denmark, for the exhibition Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera, running from September 7, 2013 to January 5, 2014.
Kahlo (1907–1954) taught herself to paint after she was severely injured in a bus accident at the age of 18. For Kahlo, painting became an act of cathartic ritual, and her symbolic images portray a cycle of pain, death, and rebirth.
Kahlo’s affair in New York City with Hungarian-born photographer Nickolas Muray (1892–1965), which ended in 1939, and her divorce from artist Diego Rivera at the end of that same year left her heartbroken and lonely. But she produced some of her most powerful and compelling paintings and self-portraits during this time.
Muray purchased the self-portrait from Kahlo to help her during a difficult financial period. It is part of the Ransom Center’s Nickolas Muray collection of more than 100 works of modern Mexican art, which was acquired by the Center in 1966. The collection also includes Kahlo’s Still Life with Parrot and Fruit (1951) and the drawing Diego y Yo (1930).
View the video documentary “A World of Interest: Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird,” which highlights the painting’s return to the Ransom Center.