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The year’s biggest Frida Kahlo exhibition has landed... in a tiny Dutch town

This gallery in Assen has brought together two major collections for the first time ever

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson

Frida Kahlo is all over the place right now. Immersive exhibitions based on her work are popping up everywhere from Mexico City to London and Chicago. But the definitive Kahlo show of 2022 isn’t in a major city at all. It’s in Assen, a small Dutch town with a population of 67,000. 

The Drents Museum has managed to nab artworks from two major Kahlo collections for the exhibition. It’s the first time works from the Museo Dolores Olmedo and the Museo Frida Kahlo (aka La Casa Azul, The Blue House) have been displayed together. An average of 10,000 people have visited the show per month since it opened in October.

‘Viva la Frida! – Life and Art of Frida Kahlo’ combines personal objects (think corsets, jewellery and letters) with some of her most famous paintings, like Henry Ford Hospital’ and ‘Self-Portrait with Small Monkey’. And the show isn’t just confined to the gallery walls: a series of related events, from lectures to film screenings, are also being held throughout the town.

Drents Museum, Assen
Photograph: Drents Museum

Perhaps most impressive is the eerie, five-metre-high bust of Kahlo that now watches over the De Vaart canal. It marks the start of a free art walking tour through Assen, taking in 14 artworks inspired by the Mexican painter. QR codes near the murals and sculptures allows visitors to find out more about the pieces. Put simply, Assen is now the unlikely Kahlo capital of the world.

The exhibition runs until March 27 and tickets start at €10 (£8.30). Find out how to book here

Looking for more great culture? These are the 8 best new museums opening around the world in 2022.

Plus: here are 6 really, really small (and really, really good) museums around the world.

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