See Frida. Buy Frida. Be Frida.: S.F. MoMA’s Kahlo gift store.

Frida Kahlo gift store
It gets even better once you go in. (Photos by C-M.)

Oh. My. God. Where do I start? I have seen some crazy museum stores, but this one is in a category of its own. S.F. MoMA has a temporary gift shop for their Frida Kahlo retrospective that has all the charm of an airport curio stand. Down to the ceramic tile coasters and Frida aprons. It was an orgy of folklore, set amid lots of brightly-painted everything. Seriously, the only thing this place needed to become a full-on Mexi-Disney was to have the cashiers wearing huipiles and braids. And why no mariachis? Or a taco bar? After standing in line to see the show, I sure coulda used a snack.

The show is up through September 28th.

Step inside, after the jump. Click on images to supersize.

Frida Kahlo gift store
You’ve seen the painting. Now wear the monkey.

Frida Kahlo gift store
Frida dolls.

Frida Kahlo gift store
Some of the Tehuana dresses cost $2,200.

Frida Kahlo gift store
A clay figurine of what appear to be two parrots chewing on Frida’s ears.

Frida Kahlo gift store
Serapes and a tin mirror.

Frida Kahlo gift store
Frida socks: Museo-merch no one never imagined. Until now.

Frida Kahlo gift store
Kahlo casual wear: Buy one and you get a free copy of The Lessons of October.

Frida Kahlo gift store
In case you didn’t pick up any Talavera while waiting for your flight at Cancun International.

Frida Kahlo gift store
I’m not making this up: A Frida Kahlo paper doll

Frida Kahlo gift store
…comes with a Diego.

Update: Thanks to Timothy Buckwalter for pointing out in the comments section below that Amy Wilson covered this same topic on her blog, Working, back when the Kahlo show passed through Philly. On that occasion, the gift shop had Frida Kahlo ties!! Better to gag yourself with.

Posted by C-Monster.

11 comments

  1. skunkworks

    Just FYI there’s actually a Kahlo-branded waxing station located behind that apron display.

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  3. Liz Hager

    Well, I have to tell you that even the high-culture Brits succumbed to über-kitsch, when it came to their turn with Frida. I shamefully admit to purchasing a copy of the very same Paper Doll book pictured above at the Tate Modern’s Frida show (2005). I just couldn’t resist this artifact of popular culture trickle-down run amok.

    For a more serious re-assessment of the Frida art vs. aura debate, I invite you to my post at Venetian Red. http://venetianred.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/cult-offering-frida-kahlo-at-sfmoma/

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  6. Natasha

    Love the idea of being able to ‘wear the monkey’… Does one have to wear them in pairs or accessorize the outfit with a fake unibrow?