Artistic Advice: Mabel Dodge to Leo Stein: Letter from Mabel Dodge to Leo Stein ca. 1914

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Title

Artistic Advice: Mabel Dodge to Leo Stein: Letter from Mabel Dodge to Leo Stein ca. 1914

Subject

Art, Modernism, and Bohemia

Description

Artistic Advice: Mabel Dodge to Leo Stein

Leo and Gertrude Stein would become some of Mabel Dodge’s most intimate friends and confidants. Their friendships would feature some slight discordance. Dodge and the Steins met in Paris during the dawn of the modernist movement at the turn of the century around 1905 and would continue to be friends through all of Dodge’s travels. Leo Stein was a visual arts expert, while his wife worked with words. The included letter Dodge sends conveys the close relationship she had with the Steins in that she requested their opinion on her own work. Dodge herself did not produce much, so this action reveals that Dodge’s relationship to Leo and Gertrude was a more genuine one than the relationships she held with many other figures of the time. Dodge is not trying to negotiate anything with Leo. Her writing is honest and clearly colloquial.

For someone like Dodge to say, “I value your opinion” and ask “What do you think?” a about a piece of her own is significant because Dodge does not enjoy making herself vulnerable. She strives to uphold her persona of calm orchestration. Dodge’s desire to create art conveys that despite mostly functioning as a conductor of Bohemia, a part of Dodge wishes she could be an accepted member of the group. Dodge is always somewhat removed by her vastly different upbringing. Dodge was simply raised to be “well versed in the ways of rich and privileged,” having acquired a desire for the avant-garde from people like the Steins in Florence (Barnet 139).

Barnet, Andrea. All Night Party: The Women of Bohemia Greenwich Village and
Harlem. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 2004. Print.
Dodge, Mabel. Letter to Leo Stein. 1914. MS. Mabel Dodge Luhan Collection.
Beinecke, New Haven.

Creator

Mabel Dodge

Source

Mabel Dodge Luhan Papers

Publisher

Beinecke Library

Date

Ca. 1914

Contributor

Mabel Dodge

Rights

Mabel Dodge Luhan Collection

Format

Image of letter

Language

English

Type

Correspondence

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

695 Delaware Ave
Buffalo N.Y.

Dear Mr. Stein-
What do you think of the enclosed "Ex hortation" I -- you so on urging you to write if you were me. I value your opinion, I would like your --, please.

Yours Sincerely,

Mabel Dodge
Seal:
DO I CONTRADICT MY SELF,
VERY WELL
THEN I CONTRADICT
MYSELF

Original Format

Writte letter