Frida Kahlo and Emmy Lou Packard

Emmy Lou Packard was a Californian post-war artist known for painting, printmaking and murals. She had a passion for the cause of social justice and peace. She was born on April 15, 1914 near El Centro, California, to parents Emma and Walter Packard. Her father founded an agricultural cooperative community in the Imperial Valley and was an internationally known agronomist.

In 1927, the Packard family traveled to Mexico for Walter’s consulting job with the Mexican government working on agrarian and land settlement reform issues. Emmy was 13 years old during this trip and a very active artist; her mother introduced her to artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and this was the beginning of a long friendship and mentorship.

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Frida Kahlo by Emmy Lou Packard, Mexico, 1941 via

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Frida Kahlo and Emmy Lou Packard via

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Frida Kahlo and Emy Lou Packard by Diego Rivera via

Frida Kahlo Photographed by Toni Frissell (1937)

Toni Frissell (1907 – 1988) was an American photographer, known for her fashion photography, World War II photographs, and portraits of famous Americans and Europeans, children, and women from all walks of life.

Her initial job, as a fashion photographer for Vogue in 1931, was due to Condé Montrose Nast personally. She later took photographs for Harper’s Bazaar. Her fashion photos, even of evening gowns and such, were often notable for their outdoor settings, emphasizing active women.

In the 1950s, she took informal portraits of the famous and powerful in the United States and Europe.

In later work she concentrated on photographing women from all walks of life, often as a commentary on the human condition.

The pictures of Frida Kahlo where taken during a Vogue Magazine photo shoot in 1937 entitled “Señoras of Mexico”, while Frissell was a staff photographer.

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Frida Kahlo seated next to an agave plant in 1937. For Vogue by Toni Frissell via

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Frida Kahlo standing next to an agave plant in 1937. For Vogue by Toni Frissell via

Audrey while making The Unforgiven. Photos by Inge Morath (1959)

The Unforgiven is a 1960 American western film filmed in Durango, Mexico. It was directed by John Huston and has the unusual casting of Audrey Hepburn.

Magnum Photos Agency photographer Inge Morath had met director John Huston while she was living in London, Morath worked on several of his films.

The Unforgiven, uncommonly for its time, spotlights the issue of racism against Native Americans and people believed to have Native American blood in the Old West.

Aside from this the film is most notable for its behind-the-scenes problems. Production was suspended for several months in 1959 after Hepburn broke her back when she fell off a horse while rehearsing a scene. Although she eventually recovered, the accident was blamed for a subsequent miscarriage Hepburn suffered.

While photographing the making of The Unforgiven, Inge Morath accompanied Huston and his friends duck hunting on a mountain lake outside Durango. Photographing the excursion, Morath saw through her telephoto lens that actor Audie Murphy and his companion had capsized their boat 350 feet from shore. She could see that Murphy, stunned, was nearly drowning. A skilled swimmer, Morath stripped to her underwear and hauled the two men ashore by her bra strap while the hunt continued uninterrupted

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico, 1959. Photograph by Inge Morath via

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico, 1959. Photograph by Inge Morath via

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico, 1959. Photograph by Inge Morath via

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico, 1959. Photograph by Inge Morath via

A Collection of Photos Feat. Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund (1950s)

Gisèle Freund (1908 –  2000) was a German-born French photographer and photojournalist, famous for her documentary photography and portraits of writers and artists.

In 1950 Freund´s photocoverage of a bejewelled Eva Peron for Life Magazine caused a diplomatic stir between the United States and Argentina —  the ostentatious photographs went against the official party line of austerity. Life Magazine was blacklisted in Argentina and Freund had to escape the country.

Freund embarked on a two-week trip to Mexico, but she wouldn’t leave until two years later. There she met the legendary couple Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Welcomed into their home, she immersed herself in their private lives and the cultural and artistic diversity of the country, taking hundreds of photographs (source).

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

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Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund, 1950 / 1952 via

A Collection of Photos by Tina Modotti  (1896 – 1942)

Tina Modotti (1896 – 1942) was an Italian photographer who was active in Mexico.  Modotti was born to a poverty-stricken family in the northern Italian province of Udine. Some have suggested that Modotti was introduced to photography as a young girl, as her uncle, Pietro Modotti, maintained a photography studio.

She emigrated to New York in 1913 with her mother and her siblings when she was 16 to reunite with her father who had left earlier.  After a brief stay, they moved to San Francisco, and Tina went to work in a textile factory. The very poor working conditions left an indelible impression on her. She left the textile factory to start a career in dressmaking, and, at the same time, she was taking part in local Italian theatrical productions.

Tina Modotti, quickly began living an exuberantly bohemian life style. In 1915 she met an artist named Roubaix de L’Abrie Richey, and they married approximately two years later. They relocated to Los Angeles where Tina entered the glitzy world of Hollywood and got parts in several silent films often playing the femme fatale. She appeared in several plays, operas, and silent movies in the late 1910s and early 1920s, and also worked as an artist’s model. Modotti’s movie career culminated in the 1920 film The Tiger’s Coat. She had minor parts in two other films.

Her home was a gathering place for many bohemian artists which included Edward Weston, the famous photographer, and they began a passionate affair despite the fact that they were both married. They moved to Mexico City in 1923. There he taught her photography. Modotti’s early platinum prints were close-up photographs of still-lifes such as wine glasses, folds of fabric or flowers. She also made prints of finely composed architectural spaces. By 1927, when she joined the Communist Party, she was starting to incorporate more overt social content in her work. She also gave up making expensive and time-consuming platinum prints in favour of silver gelatin prints. She focused on the proud faces and hands of mothers, children, artisans and labourers. She was deported from Mexico for her political activities in 1929; during the next decade she dedicated herself to revolutionary and anti-fascist activities in Russia and Spain and took few photographs. In 1939 she returned to Mexico City. In 1942, during a visit by her close friend, Swiss architect Hannes Meyer, Modotti died from heart failure in Mexico City under what is viewed by some as suspicious circumstances.

Although Modotti photographed from 1923–32, her work is relatively scarce. Modotti’s work was rediscovered in the United States when 90 vintage prints were exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1996. Martha Chahroudi, the museum’s curator of photography, organized the exhibit.

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Tina Modotti by Edward Weston

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Tina Modotti by Edward Weston

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Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti, 1926

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Tina Modotti, 1924

Film Career – Tina Modotti in The Tiger´s Coat

Tina Modotti in the The Tiger’s Coat

Portraits by Photographer Inge Morath

Ingeborg Hermine “Inge” Morath (1923 – 2002) was an Austrian-born photographer. In 1953, she joined the Magnum Photos Agency, founded by top photographers in Paris, and became a full photographer with them in 1955. Along with Eve Arnold, she was among the first women members.  Magnum remains to this day a predominantly male organization.

Morath’s work was motivated by a fundamental humanism, shaped as much by her experience of war as by its lingering shadow over post-war Europe. In Morath’s mature work, she documents the endurance of the human spirit under situations of extreme duress, as well as its manifestations of ecstasy and joy.

In 1955, she published her first collection of photographs, a total of 30 monographs during her lifetime. Morath was also the third and last wife of playwright Arthur Miller; their daughter is screenwriter/director Rebecca Miller.

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Self-Portrait by Inge Morath, Jerusalem, 1958 via

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Inge Morath, Portrait of Anais Nin, 1959 © Inge Morath © The Inge Morath Foundation via

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Inge Morath, Gloria Vanderbilt New York, 1956 ©  Fotosammlung WestLicht, Wien via

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Jayne Mansfield in bed in Beverly Hills, Inge Morath 1959 via

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Audrey Hepburn during the production of The Unforgiven, Durango, Mexico by Inge Morath 1959 via

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Marilyn Monroe on the set of the Misfits by Inge Morath, 1960s via