Conservatory (Portrait of Frida Kahlo), Miriam Schapiro

Miriam Schapiro (American, b. Canada, 1923-2015) Conservatory (Portrait of Frida Kahlo), 1988 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas Miami University Art Museum purchase funded through the Helen Kingseed Art Acquisition Fund and the Commemorative Acquisition Fund 1990.113

Miriam Schapiro was a pioneer of the feminist art movement
in the 1970s and co-founder of Womanhouse. By the 1980s,
Schapiro started to create large scale works emphasizing the
importance of women in the history of art. These works
incorporated elements of forgotten women artists as well as
media like fabric and collage, which were viewed as lesser
forms of art only done by women. She called her new style
femmage combining the words feminine and collage. In
Conservatory (Portrait of Frida Kahlo), Schapiro depicts an
enthroned Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican surrealist whom
she admired as a woman and an artist. Kahlo struggled during
her life personally and professionally, but she was able to
overcome her pain and create great works of art. This inspired
Schapiro, who also added motifs alluding to Kahlo’s paintings
and Pre-Columbian heritage.