Picasso and Hemingway may never have come to all-out fistfights, but thanks to Gertrude Stein’s salons, the two giants did spar over the most profound ideas of the age. Intimate gatherings, her weekly events hosted speakers, performers, and art that even cultural luminaries couldn’t see anywhere else. A physical meeting of the minds. It’s a quaint notion, but we’d argue that the Internet has empowered the salon’s underlying ethos. We’d invite you to mull the idea over on Reddit, create a petition on Change.org, or maybe just mention it at your weekly Meetup.
Meanwhile, we’ll be pining for an invite to these ten relatively recent salons that were almost within our reach, and celebrating the one that thankfully was.
1. Mabel Dodge Hosts Early 20th-Century “Evenings”
Mabel Dodge’s early 20th-century “Evenings” were powerhouses of the intellectual elite, potent sounding boards for the likes of anarchist Emma Goldman and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Walter Lippmann. Dodge also used her home at 23 Fifth Avenue in Greenwich Village to organize New York’s first Armory Show in 1913, a controversial event which introduced modern art to the masses. When she moved to Taos, New Mexico, the wealthy heiress hosted everyone from D.H. Lawrence to Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams. That house — now a historical landmark — was purchased by actor Dennis Hopper during the filming of Easy Rider. So, basically, her homes were awesome, followed by awesome, followed by even more awesome.