The Mexico City home and studio of visionary surrealist Leonora Carrington will be turned into a museum.
Details of the project were shared last week by the Autonomous Metropolitan University (UAM), an institution in the capital city that purchased the British Mexican artist’s house from her son in 2017, according to The Art Newspaper. The plan, the school explained, is to leave the home as Carrington did when she died in 2011 at the age of 94—down to every leftover sticky note, cigarette butt, and piece of mail.
The intention is “to preserve the intimate character of the dining room, bedroom, kitchen, and study with the idea of presenting them as closely as they were in the artist’s daily life and in terms of the objects—around 8,600—all are in sight,” Dr. Alejandra Osorio Olave, UAM’s cultural director, said in a statement.
Occasioning the announcement was the formal donation of dozens of Carrington’s works, including 45 sculptures and four drawings, as well as all of her furniture and home goods, to the school. The gift was overseen by the artist’s youngest son, Dr. Pablo Weisz Carrington, in celebration of what would have been his mother’s 104th birthday on May 25. Among the artworks donated was Carrington’s sculpture The Palmist (c. 1960), which inspired a creature from Guillermo del Toro’s 2006 film Pan’s Labyrinth.
Olave explained that Carrington’s son sold the house to the university on the condition that it be left largely untouched and converted into a museum.
“We have been working with [Dr. Weisz Carrington] for three years on the conceptual project,” Olave said. “He wanted his mother’s legacy to stay in our country and we were the bridge for that to happen.”
Born in Lancashire, England in 1917, Carrington moved to Paris in 1938 with German artist Max Ernst, whom she had met a year earlier. There, Carrington enmeshed herself in the burgeoning scene of surrealist artists, honing her own dreamy world of anthropomorphized animals and biblical allusions.
After a tumultuous breakup with Ernst in 1919, Carrington suffered a nervous breakdown. Her parents opted to send her to a sanatorium in South Africa, but on the way, she met up with Mexican poet Renato Leduc and the two fled to New York and, eventually, Mexico, where she would live, on and off, for the next six-plus decades of her life.
The Leonora Carrington Study House is expected to open to the public sometime this year. In the interim, fans of the artist can visit a recently launched interactive website dedicated to the ongoing study of her life and work.
See more images of the Leonora Carrington Study House below.