Sun, Mar 15, 2015 — Sun, Jul 12, 2015

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were an explosive couple. He carried a pistol. She carried a flask. He romanticized Detroit. She rejected it. But what they shared was a belief in communism, a thirst for tequila and a passion for each other. Discover how they left their mark on Detroit. And how Detroit left its mark on their art. Exclusively on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit brings together nearly 70 works of art that depict the evolution of these two extraordinary artists’ careers, including eight of Rivera’s epic preparatory drawings for the Detroit Industry murals and 23 pieces by Kahlo, whose work has never before been shown at the DIA. Photography is not permitted in the special exhibition galleries.

For a complete listing of programs related to Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, please visit


A catalog will accompany the exhibition. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Generous support for the exhibition has been provided by Bank of America. Additional support has been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Henry and Mary Ellen Bellaimey Family Foundation. Untitled (Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Mexico City), 1933; Martin Munkácsi, Hungarian. ©The Estate of Martin Munkácsi, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY and International Center of Photography ©2014 Frida Kahlo Corporation. All rights reserved.

The exhibition will explore the tumultuous and highly productive year that Mexican artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit, a pivotal turning point in each artist's career. Between April 1932 and March 1933, Rivera created one of his most accomplished mural cycles—Detroit Industry—on the four walls of a centrally located courtyard at the DIA. At the same time and largely unnoticed, Kahlo developed her now-celebrated artistic identity. By including works before, during and after their time in Detroit, the exhibition also looks at the evolution of each artist’s career, a subject that has never been fully studied in an exhibition or catalogue. This is a ticketed exhibition.

Rivera’s epic preparatory drawings for Detroit Industry will be the centerpiece of the exhibition. Not shown in almost 30 years, these magnificent works demonstrate Rivera’s sweeping narrative ambition, envisioned as a synthesis between Mexico’s spiritual values and United States industrial might. Most of the works Kahlo created in Detroit will be shown for the first time in this city and will reveal the emergence of Kahlo’s shockingly personal, self-revelatory art style.

Along with approximately 70 works of art, the exhibition will examine the economic conditions of the era, the industrial life of Detroit and its workers and the controversy that surrounded the Detroit Industry murals. Photographs of Rivera and Kahlo at work and at play will also be on view.

Tickets for this special exhibition are timed and limited. Advance purchase is strongly recommended, especially on weekends when most tickets sell out well in advance. If you purchase tickets online, avoid waiting in line by printing your tickets from home and bringing them with you.

  • Adults: Tues. - Fri., $14 / Sat. - Sun., $19
  • Youth (Ages 6-17): Tues. - Sun., $9
  • Groups (15+): Tues. - Fri., $12 / Sat. - Sun., $16 (per person)

Purchase Tickets Online, at the DIA Box Office, or by phone at 313.833.4005.

DIA Members receive free exhibition tickets, shop and café discounts, and more. Advanced reservations are also recommended for members. Call 313.833.7971 for membership information.