NC Museum of Art Announces Fall Openings

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina Museum of Art announces its upcoming exhibitions of painting, photography, an ancient Egyptian grain mummy, and more through fall 2019.

In October the NCMA opens Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, with presenting sponsor Bank of America. Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907–54) and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). The myths that surrounded these two icons of the 20th century in their lifetime arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their friendships (and conflicts) with leading political figures and their passionate, tempestuous personal relationships. 

"Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection will emphasize a remarkable chapter in art history that is at once Mexican and global,” says Museum Director Valerie Hillings. “Diego Rivera’s personality, politics, and monumental, social realist murals made him a celebrity during his lifetime. While he once overshadowed his equally talented wife, Frida Kahlo’s fame has far outstripped her husband’s in the years since her death. The NCMA is honored to present this exhibition and Luces y Sombras: Images of Mexico | Photographs from the Bank of America Collection, which will celebrate these artists’ culture of origin as well as the diverse sources of influence they drew upon in creating their distinctive oeuvres.” 

Kahlo and Rivera’s works are varied in scope and inspiration. She is best known for her self-portraits, while he worked as a large-scale muralist in Mexico and the United States. Kahlo’s work is deeply personal, often depicting her own dreams, painful personal experiences, and affinity with Mexican culture, while Rivera’s pursues larger looks at history and cultural revolution. Both artists forged the way for Mexican art as a significant element of the 20th century and beyond.

Similarly important is the legacy of two of Kahlo and Rivera’s patrons, Jacques and Natasha Gelman. The Gelmans became Mexican citizens in 1942 and began amassing Mexican art, sustaining a growing collection of Mexican modernists, like Kahlo and Rivera (with whom they became close friends), as well as their compatriots Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and others. Their unparalleled collection shows the richness of Mexican art through painting, drawing, photography, and film.

Scott Avett: INVISIBLE, the first solo museum exhibition by Avett Brothers founding member Scott Avett, opens October 12, featuring large-scale oil paintings depicting his family and himself. The portraits are psychologically charged and emotionally intense.

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism and Scott Avett: INVISIBLE are ticketed together. Tickets go on sale September 3 for members and September 17 for nonmembers. More information can be found at

Additional exhibitions include What in the World Is a Grain Mummy? now open, exploring the concept of grain mummies, the discovery process of the NCMA’s own grain mummy, and the cultural significance behind this ancient Egyptian artifact. The Collector’s Eye, opened August 3, showcases the early American photography collections of Dennis O. Williams and Dr. Paul Lafavore — the first documenting societal roles of African Americans and the latter displaying the artistry of the daguerreotype.

About the North Carolina Museum of Art:
The North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection spans more than 5,000 years, from ancient Egypt to the present, making the institution one of the premier art museums in the South. The Museum’s collection provides educational, aesthetic, intellectual, and cultural experiences for the citizens of North Carolina and beyond. The 164-acre Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park showcases the connection between art and nature through site-specific works of environmental art. The Museum offers changing national touring exhibitions, classes, lectures, family activities, films, and concerts. The North Carolina Museum of Art is led by Director Valerie Hillings, PhD. Located at 2110 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh, the NCMA is the art museum of the State of North Carolina and an agency of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, serving under the leadership of Governor Roy Cooper and the direction of Secretary Susi Hamilton, DNCR. For more information, visit



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