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Lecture on Mabel Dodge Luhan in today's Buffalo News

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Scholar to give talk on fascinating life of art patron Mabel Dodge Luhan by Colin Dabkowski

Mabel Dodge Luhan, the beloved arts patron who helped boost the reputation of the Taos, N.M., arts colony before her death in 1962, was one of the more sexually liberated members of her generation. Luhan’s romantic and sexual escapades reportedly involved married and single men and women from various walks of life, the most famous of whom was English writer D.H. Lawrence.

Her appetite for sexual partners was matched only by her desire for ideas, which fueled many of her writings. “It was said of her,” a New York Times obituary reads, “that she collected people as she collected China dogs for her mantelpiece.”

Luhan’s sexual proclivities are the subject of a talk by scholar Lois Palken Rudnick of the University of New Mexico. Publisher’s Weekly called Rudnick’s book, “The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern America,” “an indispensable looking glass into life during a tumultuous transitional period.”

The talk is part of a new partnership between the Burchfield Penney and the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos, which is the source of the current Albright-Knox Art Gallery exhibition “Agnes Martin: The New York-Taos Connection (1947-1957).” – Colin Dabkowski