Over the years many writers and artists were invited to Los Gallos (the Mabel Dodge Luhan House), amongst them Ansel Adams, photographer Laura Gilpin, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Aldous Huxley and Georgia O’Keefe, who wrote many sensual and passionate letters to her husband Alfred Stieglitz from Los Gallos.
Last page of letter from Georgia O’Keefe to Alfred Stieglitz, June 1st 1929 (courtesy Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University)
For Mabel, no visitor was ever more important than Lawrence, and in 1932 she published a memoir of his time in New Mexico – Lorenzo in Taos.
She also wrote an extensive (and fairly scandalous for the time) autobiography of her early life, titled Intimate Memories, which Lawrence read in manuscript shortly before his death, declaring it: “the most serious ‘confession’ that ever came out of America, and perhaps the most heart-destroying revelation of the American life-process that ever has or will be produced.”
Intimate Memories was published in numerous volumes, the later years under the titles European Experiences (1935), Movers and Shakers (1936), and Edge of Taos Desert (1937). Mabel died in 1962.
In the sixties, using some of the proceeds from Easy Rider, Dennis Hopper bought the Mabel Dodge Luhan House, welcoming a new generation of artists and bohemians, including Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
The house is now a hotel and conference centre, a site for retreat style meetings and workshops in the arts and humanities. Much is preserved, including the bathroom with windows painted by Lawrence in bright geometric and animal designs in 1922 to protect Mabel Luhan’s modesty.