June 13, 2001

The passion, poignancy and prestige of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's life and work is celebrated by the Postal Service with a new commemorative postage stamp, the first stamp to honor a Hispanic woman.

The stamp, first issued on June 21 in Phoenix, will be rededicated during a ceremony on July 12, at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St, NW.

The program will begin at 11 a.m. (EST) and will feature music by itmo Latino. Benjamin Paul Ocasio, Vice President of Diversity Development for the Postal Service, and Ignacio Durán, director general of the Mexican Cultural Institute, will be the featured speakers. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Kahlo was born in Coyoacan, Mexico, on July 6, 1907. Stricken by polio in early childhood and seriously injured in a streetcar accident at the age of 18, Kahlo endured severe pain throughout her life. The artist's physical suffering, her inability to bear children, and her tumultuous marriage to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera are reflected in much of her work.

While the subject of Kahlo's art was primarily autobiographical, her style was influenced by 19th century art and Mexican folk art traditions. During her lifetime she exhibited her paintings in New York City, Paris and Mexico City.

After her death in 1954, Kahlo's audience grew. Her work continues to significantly influence Chicana artists in the United States, and since the mid-1970s she has been a role model for women in the Mexican-American and feminist communities.

The Mexican Cultural Institute was established in June of 1990. It is a non-profit organization whose goal is to strengthen the dissemination of Mexican art, culture and science among the people of the United States, the international community of Washington, D.C. and the Mexican-born population. The Institute features two art galleries, the José Clemente Orozco Gallery on the first floor and the Frida Kahlo Gallery on the fourth floor. The artwork of 20th century muralist
Roberto Cueva del Río is on the walls of the second and third floor landings as a series of six murals depicting scenes from the cultural history of Mexico.

To see the Frida Kahlo stamp, and other forthcoming stamps and stationery in the 2001 U.S. stamp program, visit http://www.usps.com and click on "Stamp Release Schedule."

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