San Miguel is full of interesting workshops and excursions, and a handful of times, we've been lucky enough to be included in some very special experiences. Such was the case with a private showcase hosted by Casa Delphine of Frida Kahlo's secret letters and drawings at the home of a local expat who had purchased the collection for his late wife.
The collection included 37 intimate notes and letters from 1950 to 1954 and six drawings that had been hidden for over half a century in Mexico City. Discovered in a traditional Michoacan laquered box with the letters FK on the outer lid were: eight handwritten letters to herself at Coyoacan (her home town outside Mexico City); twenty-seven notes detailing her disappointment in her marriage to Diego Rivera, thoughts on politics, and her most intimate feelings about her physical pain and impending death; some un-mailed post cards; and four drawings on the backs of losing lottery tickets.
The collection was organized not necessarily chronologically, but rather by theme. It begins with happy(er) times and ends with darker imagery and descriptions of her pain just prior to her death in 1954. Frida endured six operations on her spine in 1950 and the amputation of her leg due to gangrene in 1953. Her pain, however, was not only physical. Her love affair and marriage to famous muralist, Diego Rivera, fell apart as she died, and her extreme sadness is breathtakingly captured in the works of the collection.
The Queen Bee & The Maguey Juice Wasp
"The queen bee of the Kingdom of Chilpan fell in love with a maguey-juice wasp, the queen was beautiful, but she had a problem, she was almost useless, could not fly and hardly walked, never could give a larva, the wasp was ugly and fat, a Don Juan and a liar; the wasp despised the queen bee. The queen lost a leg and her kingdom. Today the queen is thought to be more dead than alive, without a leg, and without courage, nobody looks for her and the wasp already has another queen in another hive."
--Translated into English by the Heart of Frida collection.
This month, as we celebrate art and Mexican Independence, it seems quite fitting to honor the most famous Mexican artist in the world. She reminds us that behind great creativity is sometimes great pain in addition to a brilliant mind.
If you plan to visit San Miguel, we highly recommend booking a hotel stay at Casa Delphine. Hotel guests are privy to some of the most original and creative happenings about town and are reserved for very small, intimate groups.