Held privately since 1929, this painting is the first by Kahlo to enter a New England museum and one of only thirteen in public collections across the country.

One night in July 1929, at her home in Coyoacán, Kahlo sold Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) for 300 pesos to Jackson Cole Phillips, an American engineer and industrialist based in New York. It was the first painting she ever sold.

This dignified likeness of two maids in Kahlo’s mother’s household—women whom she had known since childhood—is both personal and political.

It pays tribute to these working women as if they were Madonnas posed before a cloth of honor, and it celebrates the ethnic diversity of Mexico’s population.

The event of selling the artwork is commemorated on the back of Kahlo’s canvas, a document of "a most enjoyable evening with the author of the painting".

The artist inscribed her name, the date, and location, and each of her guests added their signatures.

They included Frances Toor, an American woman who edited the bi-lingual cultural journal Mexican Folkways, in which this painting was illustrated; Phillips, the buyer; Cristina Kahlo, the artist’s sister; painter Diego Rivera, who married Kahlo one month later; and another couple whose identities have yet to be confirmed.

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