Susan Toomey Frost Donates Guillermo Kahlo Collection to the Wittliff

Indígenas de Ixtlahuaca, México, n.d., a rare Kahlo image of people

Indígenas de Ixtlahuaca, México, n.d., a rare Kahlo image of people

San Antonio collector Susan Toomey Frost has gifted Texas State U’s Witliff Collection with 120 photographs, postcards, booklets, and books documenting the life and work of guillermo Kahlo, Frida’s father, a Mexico city architectural photographer.

It’s Frost’s third gift to the Witliff, previous gift include a collection of works by photographer Hugo Brehme, and a significant archive of materials by photographer Luis Márquez, and a table inlaid with San Jose tiles celebrating the 1936 Texas Centennial. She’s is the author of Timeless Mexico: The Photographs of Hugo Brehme, published by the Wittliff (2011),  and Colors on Clay from Trinity University Press (2009).

Frost’s donation includes rarities such as Indígenas de Ixtlahuaca, one of the few Kahlo images of people, a sleeved booklet of ten views titled Recuerdo de la Ciudad de México, and a bifold panoramic postcard of a street scene with the Church of Santo Domingo. There are also 14 silver gelatin architectural prints of churches and buildings in Cholula, Metepec, Mexico City, Puebla, San Miguel de Allende, Tepotzotlán, and Tlaxcala.

Carl Wilhelm Kahlo was born October 26, 1872, in Baden-Baden, Germany. At 19, he traveled to Veracruz and subsequently moved to Mexico City where he became known as Guillermo Kahlo. He started as an apprentice to the photographer Antonio Calderón and opened his own studio in 1901, garnering commissions from the periodicals El mundo ilustrado and Semanario ilustrado. Beginning in 1904, he received government commissions to inventory the nation’s monuments, including churches near the capitol building and the former presidential residence in Chapultepec Park. Kahlo suffered throughout his life with epilepsy and died peacefully in his sleep in April 1941.

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