Is that a surrealist masterpiece by the draining board? Inside Leonora Carrington’s sculpture-filled home

Is that a surrealist masterpiece by the draining board? Inside Leonora Carrington’s sculpture-filled homeMay 31, 2021

The great British artist’s home in Mexico has been turned into a wonderful museum, full of her sculptures, books, diaries and unsmoked cigarettes. Our writer, Carrington’s cousin, takes an emotional tour

In October 2010, a few months before her death, I said my last goodbye to my cousin Leonora Carrington. As I left her home in Mexico City, she stood waving on the doorstep. Today, I’m back for the first time – to see Leonora’s house recreated as a visitor attraction. It feels surreal, but the surreal has become the everyday since I set off to find Leonora in 2006, almost 70 years after she checked out of our family and Britain. She travelled first to Paris to be with her lover, the German artist Max Ernst, before moving on to Mexico with a diplomat she met after she and Ernst were separated by the second world war.

This house, 194 Calle Chihuahua, is where she was anchored for more than 60 years. Here, she painted some of her best-known works, including The Juggler, which sold at auction in 2005 for £436,000; And Then We Saw the Daughter of the Minotaur, now at MoMA in New York; and her mural The Magical World of the Mayans, now at the National Anthropological Museum in Mexico City.

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