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Mabel Dodge Luhan (1879-1962) was a political, social, and cultural visionary; salon hostess; and collector of genius in almost every field of modernism -- painting, photography, drama, psychology, radical politics, social reform, and Native American rights. Luhan spent her adult life building utopian communities, first, as an expatriate in Florence (1905-12) working to recreate the Renaissance; next as a "New Woman" in Greenwich Village (1912-15) , hosting one of the most famous salons in American history; and finally, in Taos, the "New World" (1918-47) , bringing together a community of artists, writers, and social reformers including writers D. H. Lawrence, Jean Toomer, Mary Austin, and Frank Waters; choreographer Martha Graham; and anthropologists Elsie Clews Parsons and John Collier.

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