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AWAKENING IN TAOS: A NEW MEXICO DOCUMENTARY WORK-IN-PROGRESS

This website explores a video project intended for PBS distribution that is currently raising completion funds. It is about the evolution of Women and Native American rights, and the beginnings of the Global Contemporary Art and Photography Market.

Mabel Dodge Luhan, a powerful advocate of modernism arrived in Taos in 1917. Following on the heels of publicity generated by the Taos Society of Artists, Dodge became the next great publicist for Taos. Her articles came to the notice of New York modernist art critic, Henry McBride, who credits her with putting Taos on the map. She also wrote the first treatise on Taos artists, called simply Taos and Its Artists (1947).

Prior to her arrival in Taos, Dodge's celebrated New York salon had become famous for its regular assemblage of avant-garde movers and shakers, a roster of revolutionaries, which ranged from political radical John Reed to analyst Abraham A. Brill, feminist Emma Goldman and writer Upton Sinclair. Leo and Gertrude Stein, famous for their Paris salon and promotion of European modernist art, and Alfred Stieglitz, whose Gallery 291 championed and promoted modernist art, also attended Dodge's salon; and the most innovative painters of the early twentieth century, John Marin, Marsden Hartley and Georgia O’Keeffe, became part of Dodge's circle. Through her association with the Steins and Stieglitz, Dodge advocated the Armory Show of 1913, one of the most significant events in twentieth century American art history. In helping to introduce French and American avant-garde art to New York, she felt she was participating in another kind of American Revolution.

Mabel Dodge wrote to the Armory Show Board:

“I'll be delighted to help in any way with the exhibition, because I think it is the most important thing that ever happened in America, of its kind. Anything that will extend the unawakened consciousness here (or elsewhere) will have my support . . . The majorities are content to browse upon past achievements. What is needed is more, more and always more consciousness, both in art and in life.”

 From Modernists In Taos, By David L. Witt

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