Mabel Dodge and Modernism in New Mexico

"Born in 1879 to great wealth, Mabel managed to practically singlehandedly span the Victorian and Modern eras"



This week on ArtBeat, my guest Mark J. Gordon returns after a pretty darned successful interview last month to tell us more about Mabel Dodge Luhan. Mark is the writer and director of an upcoming PBS New Mexico documentary, Awakening in Taos, which narrates the truly compelling story of this remarkable woman. AIT is slated to air in 2015.

Born in 1879 to great wealth, Mabel managed to practically singlehandedly span the Victorian and Modern eras. By the time she’d returned to New York after living in a d’Medici villa in Florence, this woman had become intimate with the new Modernist Art that Gertrude and Leo Stein were featuring in their Paris salons. Mabel sailed back to the USA and installed herself in Greenwich Village (ditching husband #2), where she proceeded to host salons of her own—with Communists, labor organizers, women suffragettes, and just about every other radical in the early 20th century. It was husband #3 who coaxed Mabel to New Mexico; there she wound up finding her soul mate, Tony Lujan, a highly respected member of the Taos Pueblo. Tony and Mabel married, and the rest is, well, a really great documentary-in-the-making.

Be sure to check in on Facebook with ArtBeat Radio, and don’t miss the segment where Mark and I discuss “the cult of the orgasm.” Talk about an awakening!

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