Frida Kahlo. My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree). 1936

Frida Kahlo

My Grandparents, My Parents, and I (Family Tree)


Not on view
Oil and tempera on zinc
12 1/8 x 13 5/8" (30.7 x 34.5 cm)
Gift of Allan Roos, M. D., and B. Mathieu Roos
Object number
© 2015 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture
This work is not on view.
Frida Kahlo has 3 works online.
There are 2,104 paintings online.

Kahlo collected eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Mexico retablos—small paintings on metal made to thank God or saints for curing illnesses and performing miracles—and adopted the medium as her own. In this fantastical family tree, Kahlo depicted herself as a fetus in utero and as a child inside her childhood home. While Kahlo celebrated Mexican culture by invoking its traditions in her art and wearing elaborate traditional attire, this painting is as much a tribute to her European and Jewish heritage. On the right is her German-born Jewish father and his parents, symbolized by the sea, and on the left her Mexican mother and her parents, symbolized by the land and a faintly rendered map of Mexico that appears above her grandparents’ heads. Kahlo was fluent in German and closely monitored the rise of Nazism in Europe. She made this painting shortly after Hitler passed the Nuremberg laws, forbidding interracial marriage. While the painting adopts the format of genealogical charts used by the Nazis to advocate racial purity, Kahlo uses it subversively to affirm her mixed origins.

Gallery label from 2015

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
The artist; sold through Julien Levy Gallery, New York to Allan (1906-1975) and Beatrice Roos, New York and San Francisco, 1938 [1]; acquired by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976 (Gift of Allan Roos, M. D., and B. Mathieu Roos).
[1] Included in the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Julien Levy Gallery, New York, November 1-15,1938, no. 7 (My Family).

If you have any questions or information to provide about the listed works, please e-mail or write to:

Provenance Research Project
The Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53 Street
New York, NY 10019

Image permissions

In order to effectively service requests for images, The Museum of Modern Art entrusts the licensing of images of works of art in its collections to the agencies Scala Archives and Art Resource. As MoMA’s representatives, these agencies supply high-resolution digital image files provided to them directly by the Museum's imaging studios.

All requests to reproduce works of art from MoMA's collection within North America (Canada, U.S., Mexico) should be addressed directly to Art Resource at 536 Broadway, New York, New York 10012. Telephone (212) 505-8700; fax (212) 505-2053;; Requests from all other geographical locations should be addressed directly to Scala Group S.p.A., 62, via Chiantigiana, 50012 Bagno a Ripoli/Firenze, Italy. Telephone 39 055 6233 200; fax 39 055 641124;;

Requests for permission to reprint text from MoMA publications should be addressed to

Related links:
Outside North America: Scala Archives
North America: Art Resource

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information, or have spotted an error, please send feedback to