Art •  Southwest and Biography

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Mabel Dodge Luhan and Company: American Moderns and the West

Edited by Lois Palken Rudnick
Edited by MaLin Wilson-Powell

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.


Lois P. Rudnick is professor emerita of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts. She is the author of numerous publications including Mabel Dodge Luhan: New Woman, New Worlds, The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture, and Cady Wells and Southwestern Modernism. She lives in Santa Fe.

MaLin Wilson-Powell is an art historian, author, and independent curator who has written, taught, and lectured widely on American Modernism and contemporary art. The books she has edited include The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings of Peter Schjeldahl, 1978–1990 and Last Chance for Eden: Selected Art Criticism by Christopher Knight, 1979–1994. She is contributor to numerous publications including Jerry West: The Alchemy of Memory by Jerry R. West and John Connell: Works 1965-2009. She lives in Santa Fe.

Published By Museum of New Mexico Press/Published in association with the Harwood Museum of Art

9 x 11.5 in. 220 pages 120 color and 50 black-and-white illustrations