TAOS ― The Harwood Museum of Art in Taos announces one of its largest and most important traveling exhibitions, coming in the spring of 2016.
The exhibition will be the first to showcase the impact of Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879-1962), and her circle of artist, writer, and activist friends, on shaping American Modernism.
The exhibition is an exploration Mabel Dodge Luhan’s life and influence, within the context of early 20th century American history and the Southwest, and an exploration of how the tiny multicultural community of Taos became an important center of the modernist art movement.
“Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West” will be in Taos from May 22 through September 11, 2016. Known as the “Gertrude Stein of the Southwest,” Mabel Dodge Luhan was already a force in the world of artists, writers, social activists, and avant-garde luminaries when she came to Taos in 1918.
She had hosted renowned salons in Florence, Italy and Greenwich Village, New York, where creators, actors, and thinkers from every sector of aesthetic, social, and political movements came together to nurture a new and reformed American art and society.
In Taos, Mabel met and married Taos Pueblo Indian Antonio (Tony) Lujan. Together they worked to attract and host such well-known personalities as D.H.
Lawrence, Willa Cather, John Collier, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, John Marin, Marsden Hartley, Paul Strand, Carlos Chavez, and Martha Graham. Summoned to Taos by Mabel and Tony, these artists and writers found, in the remote high desert, intellectual and spiritual inspiration for their work.
Their cultural productions will be presented in dialogue with Pueblo and Hispano artists to showcase the cultural exchanges—and the fraught issues of Anglo patronage—that were central to the formation of a unique Southwest Modernism.
The exhibition will be presented in eight sections; the first three explore Mabel’s journey from Gilded Age Buffalo, through her famous salons in Florence and Greenwich Village, NY.
Five sections present the works of the modernists attracted to Taos by the Luhans, the artwork and publications they produced, supplemented music, audio, and video installations.
As part of The Harwood Museum of Art’s ongoing mission to bring, “Taos arts to the world and world arts to Taos,” and to include the greater Taos community, there will be educational initiatives and several public programs In conjunction with the exhibition, including a symposium on the interaction of the Anglo, Pueblo, and Hispano cultures of Northern New Mexico, community dialogues, lectures, and films.