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One of the Masters: Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938

September 14, 2021

Bank of America’s Masterpiece Moment is a new digital initiative that supports art and cultural institutions throughout the nation. The program features works of art from the collections of 25 museum partners across the country through video vignettes. This innovative virtual showcase allows continued public access to groundbreaking artworks, museum experts, and the cultural experiences they provide. This week, Bank of America highlights Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1938, in the Albright-Knox’s collection.

In 1937, Frida Kahlo painted Fulang-Chang and I, for Mary Schapiro Sklar. Sklar had met Kahlo in Mexico and had quickly become a devoted friend and supporter of the artist. During Kahlo's first solo exhibition in New York at Julien Levy's gallery (October 1938), A. Conger Goodyear, then chairman of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, was struck by the painting and asked her to paint something similar. Kahlo painted Self-Portrait with Monkey in her hotel room over the course of a week.

Goodyear’s lifelong generosity has bestowed the Albright-Knox with many incredible works of art, and the A. Conger Goodyear Fund, which he established before his death has greatly enhanced its ability to grow its collection.

Fulang-Chang and I is on view at MoMA, where it is mounted with a mirror, so that Sklar could, if she chose, be reunited with her friend Kahlo.

Watch the full Masterpiece Moment featuring Peggy Pierce Elfvin Director Janne Sirén below.