Frida Kahlo Attends the National Preparatory School

Frida commutes to Mexico City to begin classes at the National Preparatory School.

Frida is one of only 35 girls to attend the prestigious school with hopes of becoming a doctor. At this point in her life she has no interest in pursuing a career as an artist.

The Mexican mural movement begins. The government sponsors murals to be painted in churches, schools, libraries, and public buildings. Frida first learns of Diego Rivera, who is painting his mural "Creation" at the school's lecture hall.

Guillermo Kahlo preferred Frida to his other children because she was the most intelligent. And in 1922, Frida made Guillermo even prouder when she became one of 35 women from a student body of 2,000 to be admitted to the prestigious National Preparatory School, or El Prepo, in Mexico City. She wanted to study medicine, but upon arriving to the vibrant intellectual center of her country, she discovered political activists, artists, communists, and other people who dared to dream and question. Lopping off her hair and switching to overalls from the drab outfits of a good Catholic girl, Frida fell in with the Cachets, a group of pranksters led by Alejandro Gómez. One of the Cachets’ victims of trickery was a tall and fat muralist, Diego Rivera, who was commissioned by the school to paint its auditorium. Spunky Frida stopped at nothing to annoy Rivera, 20 years her senior. She and the Cachets soaped the stairs so Diego would slip and fall, stole his lunch, and popped water balloons over his head. Only years later would her taunting and teasing of Diego evolve into a love affair.

In 1922, Kahlo enrolled at the renowned National Preparatory School. She was one of the few female students to attend the school, and she became known for her jovial spirit and her love of traditional and colorful clothes and jewelry. That same year, famed Mexican muralist Diego Rivera went to work on a project at the school. Kahlo often watched as Rivera created a mural called The Creation in the school’s lecture hall. According to some reports, she told a friend that she would someday have Rivera’s baby.