Taos Feature


Hostess of Taos

Mabel Dodge Luhan, a progressive-minded socialite from Buffalo, New York, arrived on the scene in 1917, fell in love with Taos, and stayed. In the high-desert landscape and in the Taos Pueblo culture she found a purpose and unity that she firmly believed ought to be extended to American society at large. When she walked away from her "old, mythical life," aiding her as soul mate and spiritual mainstay was a statuesque Taos Pueblo man, Antonio Luhan, who became her fourth, and last, husband. In the house they built together next to Pueblo land, they hosted many of the era's great artists, writers, philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, and social reformers. Mabel's friends and acquaintances included Martha Graham, Aldous Huxley, and Carl Jung. Mabel wrote to D.H. Lawrence many times and even tried to send him psychic messages until finally he, too, came to Taos and was profoundly affected by what he found. Although he stayed less than two years all together, some of his finest writing, including The Plumed Serpent and several novelettes, essays, and poems, grew out of his experiences in Taos and Mexico. Mabel herself penned several books; Edge of Taos Desert: An Escape to Reality (1937) is a part of her autobiography that vividly describes her life in Taos. She and her beloved Tony died within months of each other in 1970. Their house is now a conference center and B&B.

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