Frida Kahlo exhibition in Glen Ellyn offers special events, tours, virtual options

A notable collection of 26 original artworks by Frida Kahlo is on display through Sept. 6 in the Cleve Carney Museum of Art at the McAninch Arts Center on the campus of College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, where birthday festivities for the late artist are planned. In addition, tours plus virtual viewing opportunities have been announced.

The museum and The MAC, in tandem with the “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” exhibition, salutes the late artist’s birthday beginning at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 6, a news release stated. Expect a special appearance by Miss Mexican Heritage; members of the acclaimed Mariachi Monumental De México providing musical entertainment including a joyful rendition of “Las Mañanitas” (the traditional song sung in Mexico to honor one on their birthday); face painting; printmaking workshop conducted by Instituto Gráfico de Chicago; strolling costumed Frida Kahlo characters; vendors selling Mexican wares; fare by Santa Fe Restaurant of Glen Ellyn, and more.

Attendees are welcome to dress in Frida-inspired clothing, flower crowns and accessories and encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item to benefit the Glen Ellyn Food Pantry and COD Student Fuel Pantry. Access to the event is available with purchase of a ticket to view the “Frida Kahlo: Timeless” exhibition on that date. Special admission fees are available.

Last week saw the start of virtual tours of “Frida Kahlo: Timeless,” a one-of-a-kind, multifaceted exhibition of original artwork by the iconic Mexican painter. Making the in-person exhibition accessible to remote audiences, on-demand individual tours are priced at $18 and provide in-depth curatorial commentary from curator Justin Witte and Executive Director Diana Martinez, offering intimate glimpses into the artist’s life and work.

Exhibition tours

Group tours, led by museum docents and offering opportunities for lively discussions and questions, are available Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. or 2 p.m. for groups of up to 25 people ($250) and 26 to 50 people ($500).  

“Frida Kahlo: Timeless” is the most comprehensive presentation of Kahlo’s work displayed in the Chicago area in over 40 years. Visitors to the exhibition, both virtual and in-person, can take advantage of a robust series of virtual programs focused on Kahlo’s life and legacy, freely available on the museum’s website ( Virtual talks feature renowned art historians, scholars and curators including Cesáreo Moreno, chief curator of the National Museum of Mexican Art, and Julie Rodrigues Widholm, director of the UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

The 26-piece collection, on loan from the Museo Dolores Olmedo, features an array of oil paintings and works on paper spanning the life of Kahlo, a Mexican artist foundational to the 20th century art historical canon. Best known for self-portraits highlighting themes of identity, politics, sexuality and death, Kahlo channeled her childhood and personal struggles into her art and became an iconic figure and symbol of female empowerment, individual courage and Mexican pride.

The exhibition includes pivotal pieces created throughout the artist’s life, including 19 oil paintings, representing over one-tenth of the total number of Kahlo paintings in existence. Works from Kahlo’s life follow a period when the artist was bedridden for months after surviving a life-altering bus accident at age 18, and span her lifetime, concluding with a work completed the year of her death.

The exhibition also features a multimedia timeline with replicas of notable objects from Kahlo’s life, over 100 photographic images, a Frida Kahlo-inspired garden and a children’s area.

The Cleve Carney Museum of Art is at 425 Fawell Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. For tickets or more information, visit or call 630-942-4000.