Since the late 1970s Frida Kahlo has emerged as one of the foremost twentieth-century practitioners of the art of portraiture. Mexican artist Diego Rivera was an early supporter of her work, and the couple married in 1929. While Rivera worked on large-scale history murals, Kahlo’s work was both intimate in scale and subject matter. These qualities stemmed partly from her lifelong health challenges after a streetcar accident that occurred when she was eighteen. Through her self-portraits she expressed her physical and emotional pain, as well as her fluid identity as a politically engaged, modern, cosmopolitan woman and heir to Mexico’s indigenous traditions. For her championing of personal experience and identity as valid art subjects, Kahlo is a cultural icon for feminists, gays, and U.S. Latinos, among others.
Magda Pach, wife of writer and artist Walter Pach, was one of the American establishment figures who fervently supported Mexican art in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s.