Virtual Preview: Behind-the-scenes look at Frida Kahlo exhibit at San Francisco's de Young Museum

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A premiere exhibition at San Francisco's de Young Museum was an early victim of the novel coronavirus crisis, closing down for the shelter-in-place order just as it was set to open.

But recently, ABC7 News got an exclusive peak behind the scenes of the exhibit, "Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving," including the backstory of the exhibit from associate curator Hillary Olcott.

She says the items are the result of a generous loan from the Museo Frida Kahlo in Coyoacán, Mexico City.

First, one enters then move into a hallway that features photographs of Frida Kahlo in her younger days, introducing her early family life. Then the exhibit turns to items on display for the first time on the West Coast.

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"The core of the exhibition is from this incredible discovery that they made in 2004 of a trove of Kahlo's personal possessions that had been locked up for 50 years," Olcott said. "Her jewelry, her vibrant, beautiful ensembles, as well as a number of remarkable portraits."

The canvasses include a double portrait that Kahlo painted of herself and her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera. Olcott says she's grateful that the de Young team was able to get the exhibition installed, right before the final shelter-in-place order came down.

She adds that Kahlo has maintained a strong following, especially in the Bay Area, since her death in 1954.

"I think that Frida Kahlo has always been very appreciated when that's one of the amazing things about her is that she calls to so many people, and the people feel deeply connected and she's deeply beloved by so many for various reasons," Olcott said.

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The exhibit also includes a number of Kahlo's lesser-known works, including still-life's inspired by her home, and a number of remarkable self-portraits.

The museum will unveil an adjusted schedule when the events surrounding COVID-19 allow.

View more about the exhibit here.

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