Mabel Dodge Luhan was born in Buffalo, New York, to a family of great wealth and privilege. As a young woman she lived in Europe and New York, where she became known as a patron of the arts and confidante of the intelligentsia. She moved to Taos, New Mexico, in 1919 and started a literary and art colony. A wealthy woman from the east, Luhan’s enthusiasm and generosity nurtured many creative souls including: D.H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Willa Cather, Mary Hunter Austin and Georgia O’Keeffe. Luhan befriended many other well-known artists of the 20th century. When she died in 1962, the Mabel Dodge Luhan home in Taos became a National Historic Landmark.
Life may have turned out differently for Georgia O’Keeffe if Mabel Dodge Luhan hadn’t introduced her to the Land of Enchantment. After her first visit in 1929, O’Keeffe became enthralled with the vistas and ever changing light of northern New Mexico. In 1940 the artist returned and bought a parcel of land from Arthur and Phoebe Pack, the owners of Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, N.M. Fifteen years later, the Packs donated the entire ranch to the Presbyterian Church. Their decision infuriated O’Keeffe, who felt that her privacy would be compromised. Today, Ghost Ranch is a spiritual retreat for people seeking solace in an area now known as O’Keeffe Country.
The Most Widely Visited Museum in New Mexico
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in the most widely visited cultural institution in New Mexico. The museum is located on Johnson street in Santa Fe. Last summer the organization celebrated their 25th anniversary on July 17,2022. The museum is housed in the former Spanish Baptist church. Their annex is located in a former Safeway supermarket that was just off the Santa Fe plaza through the early 1980s.