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Dallas Art Fair Symposium to Discuss Controversial Frida Kahlo Material

Chris Byrne, co-founder of The Dallas Art Fair, has announced that a controversial collection of Frida Kahlo material will be the subject of the 2010 Dallas Art Fair Symposium. The two-day event will bring together an international panel of experts to debate the authenticity of the Noyola collection of approximately 1,200 drawings, journals, letters, paintings and other items whose owners maintain they are handmade by Frida Kahlo, but which others have denounced as fakes. The panel also will present an overview of the methods and challenges of authenticating newly discovered art works.

The symposium will take place Saturday, February 6 and Sunday, February 7, 2010 at 10:00 am to 12:00 noon at the Montgomery Arts Theater at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, 2501 Flora Street in the Dallas Arts District. Admission to each symposium is included in the purchase of an Art Fair ticket. Daily tickets are $20 and a three-day pass is $40. Doors will open at 9:30 am, seating is limited and is on a first come, first served basis. Visit for more information.

The moderator will be Jason Edward Kaufman, art historian, critic and correspondent for The Art Newspaper. A number of the artworks, letters and other items in the Noyola collection are scheduled to make their first appearance in the United States as part of the Dallas Art Fair Symposium. The location of the exhibition will be announced at a later date.

The Dallas Art Fair Symposium panels will bring together the owners of the Noyola material, experts they have enlisted to examine the material, the publisher of a recently released book on the collection, scholars and art dealers who question the archive’s authenticity and journalists who have followed the controversy since its inception.

Moderator and journalist Jason Kaufman says, “The discussion will range from the specific – what evidence is there to support or challenge the authenticity of the Noyola archive – to general questions about how newly discovered artworks are received and evaluated by the scholarly community and the market.”

Scheduled participants include Mary-Anne Martin who founded the Latin American Department at Sotheby’s before starting Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York; Dr. Salomon Grimberg, co-author of the Frida Kahlo catalog raisonné, Frida Kahlo, Das Gesamtwerk, and one of the world’s leading experts on her work; James Oles, professor of art history at Wellesley College who has conducted extensive research in the Kahlo archives at her Casa Azul in Mexico City; Carlos Noyola and Leticia Fernandez, co-owners of La Buhardilla Antiquarios in San Miguel de Allende and owners of the collection; Jed Paradies, advisor to the Noyola collection; Katherine Myers, Publicity Director, Jennifer Thompson, Editorial Director, and Kevin Lippert, Publisher of Princeton Architectural Press which produced the related volume Finding Frida Kahlo.


Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) is among the most popular and beloved women painters of the 20th century. Her paintings, which can command millions of dollars, describe a life of chronic physical pain and tormented love for her unfaithful husband, the painter Diego Rivera. Today she is a feminist icon, and even scraps of paper associated with her are valued not only financially but also as relics of a legendary historical figure. Her reputation is such that the Mexican government has designated her work “National Patrimony” and restricted its trade and export.

Little wonder that the Noyola collection of Frida Kahlo material has come under such intense scrutiny. Even before the works became widely known with the November 2009 release of the illustrated book Finding Frida Kahlo (Princeton Architectural Press), co-authored by Barbara Levine and Stephen Jaycox, the collection became the focus of numerous articles in major publications in Mexico, the United States and Europe. Some reports celebrated the discovery of new material related to Frida Kahlo, but many have challenged the objects’ authenticity and condemned their publication. Mary-Anne Martin, one of the leading dealers of Latin American art in the United States, has said, “In my view the publishers have been the victims of a gigantic hoax.” The Dallas Art Fair Symposium will delve into the issues surrounding the collection and its still unresolved status.

About Dallas Art Fair

Celebrating modern and contemporary art, the second annual 2010 Dallas Art Fair will showcase paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs from post war artists represented by over 50 prominent national and international art dealers from over 15 cities, the United Kingdom and Canada. Previous artists exhibited include Chuck Close, Joan Mitchell, Sol LeWitt, Damien Hirst, John Chamberlin and Rufino Tamayo.

The Dallas Art Fair is located at the Fashion Industry Gallery (f.i.g.), within walking distance of world-class cultural institutions of the Dallas Arts District including the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Meyerson Symphony Center. In its first year, over 5,500 art lovers attended and the events drew established and aspiring art collectors and enthusiasts from throughout the nation. The Dallas Art Fair was co-founded by John Sughrue and Chris Byrne. For more information, visit

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