Mexican Modernism at Frist Art Museum – Nashville with Kids

I remember the day I saw my first Frida Kahlo painting. She was bold, unforgiving, and quite possibly the most raw woman I had ever set eyes on. She fought society, the man she loved, and even her own body. And, just like my mother, she was deeply rooted in her Mexican heritage. For a teenager, her message was powerful. And, the impact that this one particular artist had on my younger self was tremendous.

So, when I learned about the Mexican Modernism exhibit at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, TN, I contacted them once again for a partnership so I could see her work in person and share it with the rest of you.

The Frist Art Museum has always been a favorite for our family when visiting Nashville, TN. We have placed it on the list as one of the top 5 kid-friendly things to do when visiting Music City, and we have encouraged others to bring kids here. The Frist has a particularly wonderful ability to integrate hands-on activities with the main exhibit to get every member of your family involved. See our visit to the Frist Art Museum with a toddler from the 2018 Frist Art Museum We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press and Chaos and Awe exhibits to see how well your littlest kiddos will feel included.

This Mexican Modernism exhibit it runs through September 2, 2019, so get to Nashville as quickly as you can. But, if this timeline doesn't fall with your vacation schedule, we still say that the Frist Art Museum is worth a visit no matter what art installation they are currently running.

This exhibit features many of the influential Mexican artists that helped shape Mexican identity after the 1910 Mexican Revolution.  It was a time to reconceptualize national identity through modern ideals of government, medicine, art, land reform, and education.

Most of us think of Diego Rivera, Frida's husband, as the main influencer during this time period. He was well known for his involvement with leftist leaning politics and paintings in large scale.

But, there were others shaping society as well.

For me, the highlight was watching Frida and Diego interact via video footage.

I don't ever recall seeing her on film. Frida Kahlo was breathtaking.

Then, of course, there was a section for Frida. So many of her paintings, photos and sketches were on display.

But, I loved the section dedicated to Frida's personal style. So much of her identity was wrapped up in maintaining traditional dress in an era when the old ways were being overshadowed by contemporary ideals and style.

Did the 5 year old enjoy it?

That's always the question isn't it? Can I take my little one? The short answer: Yes! I did and I saw many others with small ones as well.

Did my elementary aged kid intellectualize the experience the way I had hoped? Nope. Mexican Modernism was a driving force in my life, but I guess I was introduced when I was considerably older. His comments were things like "why is it a picture of the same lady over and over." And, "I don't think I'd like to have monkeys hanging on me like that."

And eventually he got to this...

I guess the work of Frida Kahlo might need a change of perspective after a while, especially if you are only 5 years old.

The good news? If your little ones get antsy, there is always the promise of hands-on activities involving the exhibit at the Martin ArtQuest kids center upstairs! We love that the Frist Art Museum always ties this creative space into the main exhibit and feel it helps the kiddos digest the artwork in a really exciting way.

We got to make papel picado.

Then, arranged Mexican ceramic tiles in interesting patterns.

Next, we sat and read some Frida and Diego books in the reading nook.

We sat and sketched this model displaying traditional Mexican dress.

Finally, we tried our hands at printmaking using one of the paintings we had just seen downstairs.

In the end, we both walked away with something to remember.


Kid Allergy Travel received sponsored admission to the Frist Art Museum. Although this was part of a media visit, rest assured, the opinions provided in the post by Kid Allergy Travel remain our own. Photos by Kid Allergy Travel.

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