Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West
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Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879–1962) was a political, social, and cultural visionary; salon hostess; and collector of genius in almost every field of modernism―painting, photography, drama, psychology, radical politics, social reform, and Native American rights. Luhan spent her adult life building utopian communities, first, as an expatriate in Florence (1905–12) working to recreate the Renaissance; next as a “New Woman” in Greenwich Village (1912–15), hosting one of the most famous salons in American history; and finally, in Taos, the “New World” (1918–47), bringing together a community of artists, writers, and social reformers including writers D. H. Lawrence, Jean Toomer, Mary Austin, and Frank Waters; choreographer Martha Graham; and anthropologists Elsie Clews Parsons and John Collier. With Luhan as their hostess, these European and American talents found inspiration in the mesas, mountains, Hispanic villages, and Indian pueblos of northern New Mexico. Modernist works by painters and photographers, including Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Rebecca Strand, and Paul Strand, are featured alongside indigenous art that inspired their modernist sensibilities―Native American painters like San Ildefonso Pueblo’s Awa Tsireh and Taos Pueblo’s Pop Chalee, whose work Mabel supported, and traditional Hispano devotional art collected by Luhan.