Luhan, Mabel Dodge (1879–1962) By Kuykendall, Lara
Mabel Evans Dodge Sterne Luhan was a writer and patron of the arts who hosted circles of visual and literary artists at her homes in Florence, Italy; Greenwich Village, New York City; and Taos, New Mexico. She befriended and supported noted modernists including Gertrude Stein, Georgia O’Keeffe, Carl Van Vechten, Ansel Adams, Marsden Hartley, and Willa Cather. Luhan and her creative cohort promoted stylistic innovation in their works, including visual abstraction and non-linear narratives. Political activists such as sex educator Margaret Sanger and anarchist Emma Goldman also contributed to the revolutionary spirit of Luhan’s intellectual salons, where important relationships formed and conversations took place about the nature of creativity in the modern, industrial world. Luhan wrote essays and books about the cultural milieu she helped to cultivate throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Lorenzo in Taos (1932) was inspired by her friendship with D.H. Lawrence. Intimate Memories (four volumes, 1933–7) is notable for its forthright discussions of her bisexuality. Taos and Its Artists (1947) is an early introduction to the art scene that she was instrumental in building in the southwest. Luhan died in 1962.