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Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Kennedy Yanko, Reginald O’Neal, and Cajsa von Zeipel

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Lifestyle

Celebrating Frida Kahlo at the New York Botanical Garden

By Kelsey Miranda

June 22, 2015

Earlier this month, the New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) celebrated its 41st annual gala, the Conservatory Ball: A Night in Coyoacán. This year’s black-tie spring evnet celebrated the garden’s critically acclaimed exhibition “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, and Life,” on display until November. The evening brought in over 500 hundred guests and raised over $1.6 million for the Children’s Education and Plant Research Conservations programs at NYBG. With fashion designer Carolina Herrera as partner, several notable guests wore colorful designs by Herrera like Emmy Rossum, Lily Aldridge, and Carolina Herrera de Baez.

The conservatory ball took place throughout the gardens and Kahlo exhibit. Guests walked through flowering trees, an exceptional herb garden, and thousands of peonies before moving to the dinner in a tent just outside the greenhouse conservatory. The space was dressed up with different Mexican-inspired fauna and colorful papel picado banners capturing the essence of Kalho and her native country of Mexico.

“Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, and Life” exclusively looks at Kalho’s intense interest in the natural world in Mexico, which can be seen in her decoration of her home, garden, and botanical imagery in her paintings. The exhibition decor was inspired by her home, Casa Azul, in the town of Coyoacán outside Mexico City, realized by guest curator and art historian Adriana Zavala. Inside the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, a reimaged and to-scale version of Kalho’s studio and garden at Casa Azul was created especially for the show, featuring Mexican cacti, succulents, folk-art, and pre-Hispanic, colonial-era, and religious objects and paintings.

The Lu Esther T. Mertz Library’s Art Gallery showcases 14 Kalho paintings focusing on the importance of plants and nature into her work. Works include Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940), Flower of Life (1944), and Self-Portrait Inside a Sunflower (1954). Throughout the summer, complementary programs like poetry readings, lectures, shopping, and dining, will be held at NYBG.

A Night in CoyoacánAdriana ZavalaArtCarolina HerreraCarolina Herrera de BaezCasa de AzulConservatory BallCultureEmmy RossumEnid A. Haupt ConservatoryfashionFrida KahloFrida Kahlo: Art Garden and LifeKelsey MirandaLily AldridgeLu Esther T. Mertz Library’s Art GalleryMexicoMexico CityNew York Botanical GardenWhitewall

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