Frida Kahlo was a Mexican artist who liberated herself and her beliefs though her paintings. Her works are often discussed in terms of the pain and anguish she suffered throughout her short life-from her birth in 1907 to her death in 1954. Twentieth-century art historians, such as Hayden Herrera, have offered interpretations of Kahlo’s work that present her work as an example of a woman’s art that focuses solely on marriage and maternity, particularly with her My Birth and Henry Ford Hospital . The goal of my research is to directly confront the suffering female paradigm that Herrera contends through an examination of her Moses of 1945. The painting is rarely mentioned in most literature and offers some further clues to that help us separate the myth from what we know of the artist. Margaret Lindauer and Gannit Ankori have recently made valuable contributions to a reevaluation of Kahlo’s identity. However, they neglected to consider the significance of this painting. Kahlo claimed that Moses was her response to reading Sigmund Freud’s text, Moses and Monotheism . The iconography is extensive and invites the viewer to consider how the work is a commentary on the text and a reflection on some of the political and theoretical interests of Kahlo. She was a historically and politically informed early feminist concerned with more than the domestic realm.
Shannon Peters, ’04 Barrington , IL
Majors: Anthropology & Art History
Sponsor: Christina McOmber