Day Trips: Frida Kahlo Oasis, San Antonio

Re-creation of the artist's home transports visitors to Mexico

Photos by Gerald E. McLeod

"Frida Kahlo Oasis" at the San Antonio Botanical Garden transports visitors to the artist's home in Mexico City. It's a garden within a garden decorated with plants and sculptures that inspired her art.

Casa Azul in Mexico City was Kahlo's most intimate space. She lived most of her life in her childhood home, and upon her death in 1954 at age 47 it became a museum. Besides being her home, the cobalt blue house was her studio with an interior garden filled with plants and animals that appeared in her paintings.

The San Antonio gardens re-created the blue walls and niches from the Mexico City house as garden dividers under the canopy of towering oaks. Along with her favorite plants are replicas of Kahlo's desk and easel. At the center of the outdoor sanctuary is a pyramid like the one at Casa Azul used to display Diego Rivera's collection of artifacts. The exhibit gives some insight into Kahlo's world, like walking through a dreamscape or a painting.

The Oasis is just one small part of the world of plants at the 41-acre garden off Broadway Street in north San Antonio. The Botanical Garden is a beautiful collection of plants in greenhouses and along flower-lined walkways. Scattered around the gardens are six animal sculptures by Mexican artists representing themes that often appeared in Kahlo's art.

"Frida Kahlo Oasis" will be on display through Nov. 2 at the San Antonio Botanical Garden, A short distance from the exhibit, the Botanical Garden's new contemporary Eastern Mediterranean cafe, Jardín, offers an exciting menu of appetizers, entrees, and beverages to enjoy in the dining room or on the covered patio.

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Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, San Antonio Botanical Garden, Jardin, San Antonio, Mexico City

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