Otomi Bag, T88.0107
Posted: Jan 8th, 2020 | Collection Spotlight

Our Object of the Week is an Otomi bag made in the 1940s in the Mezquital Valley in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Otomi weavers are known worldwide for their beautiful and lively textiles.

This bag was featured in the TMC’s 2015 exhibition Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray. Kahlo wore traditional Mexican clothing as an expression of her personal politics: a statement of solidarity with labourers of Mexico and a celebration of the indigenous craft involved in its production. After her death in 1954, Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, shut her possessions in a locked bathroom at their home in Mexico City, to remain there for 15 years after his own death. The room stayed locked much longer and was finally reopened in 2004 revealing Kahlo’s deep admiration for indigenous textiles and her appreciation of the sophisticated, centuries-old skills used to create them.

In Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, TMC curator Roxane Shaughnessy selected indigenous Mexican garments from our collection that were representative of those in Kahlo’s wardrobe. This Otomi bag was included as Kahlo owned several shoulder bags woven from wool and cotton made in the Mezquital Valley.

Links: Click here to see the bag in our online collections database where you can see alternate views and zoom in to see details; see Ishiuchi Miyako’s stunning 2015 photographs of Kahlo’s belongings; check out Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress: Frida’s wardrobe, featuring images of restored clothing from Kahlo’s wardrobe paired with historic photos of her wearing them and painting in which the garments appear.

Post a Comment