American Moderns and the West

Trading the sultry summer of coastal Georgia for  cool and clear Taos days was exhilarating. The art scene in Santa Fe and Taos was energetic and just as exhilarating as the change of climate!  I’ve been back for awhile, but before summer disappears, I will make a note about the summer trip to Taos.

We toured the “Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company, American Moderns and the West” exhibit at the Harwood Museum of Art.  Called the “new woman” of her time (1879-1962), Mabel was born in Buffalo NY during the Gilded age.  The story of her life, moving from Buffalo to Florence, Italy, to Greenwich Village, NY to Taos NM was on display along with the artists of the day.  She was a collector of creative types, attracting important artists and writers of her time to Taos.  DH Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keefe, Marsden Hartley and many others came to visit her in Taos and influenced a new modernism in the Southwest.

Last year we toured the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos.  Millicent was another strong woman who brought to light the culture of this region.  The myth of the cowboy and the Southwest is fascinating but I am glad that two important women are credited with bringing the lively art scene to the attention of the world.  One thing I will never forget is how amazing it was to bring my Mother to this part of the country, this late in her life.  She had never thought she would ever see such sights.

On a day trip to Santa Fe to visit galleries and shops, I had an amazing experience as I happened on a painting by Jerry Johnson.  Literally it took my breath away.  Well, yes, at the high altitudes of 7000 ft above sea level, your breathlessness is a fact until you get acclimated.  I bought a lottery ticket and hoped for the best.  Needless to say, I did not bring that painting back home with me…

But I will remember where the gallery in Taos is located which also had some Johnson paintings!  Who could miss their turquoise door?  And speaking of turquoise, I also wanted to bring some serious turquoise home, but that didn’t happen either.  What I did bring home ….. the sounds, smells and sights of that small town high in the moutain valley…. never to be lost.


About Jayne in Georgia

Wife, mother, and owner of pets much loved. Gardener of three decades, amateur photographer, ardent about art, antiques and books.
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3 Responses to American Moderns and the West

  1. Incredible! I need to add a visit to Taos to my bucket list. 🙂


  2. bittster says:

    So nice, and the way you photographed it really gives a great vibe.
    It sounds like it was a great trip and I’m glad you were able to share it with your mom.


  3. Karen B. says:

    I’ve never been to Taos, but it looks like a place I would enjoy visiting—especially in the cooler months.


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