Modernist Visions in Taos
Not long after her arrival in Taos, New Mexico, in 1917, the writer and celebrated salon hostess Mabel Dodge Luhan began to lure some of the most talented artists, writers and thinkers of her day to her new home. Soon Taos served as a counter center of American Modernism that was visited, among others, by the painters Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, and Andrew Dasburg, the photographers Ansel Adams and Paul Strand, and the writers D.H. Lawrence, Thornton Wilder, Mary Austin and Willa Cather. All of those artists responded strongly to New Mexico’s spectacular natural and cultural environment and some of them even decided to settle permanently in New Mexico. The journey to Taos not only had an enduring influence on their artistic development but the direct confrontation with Native American and Hispanic cultures played a pivotal role in reformulating their identity as modernist artists. This book shows how the experience of the southwestern desert offered new ways of thinking about nature, culture and cultural difference and how Mabel Dodge Luhan and her modernist friends anticipated and influenced later currents in America’s artistic, intellectual and cultural development.