Mabel Dodge Luhan’s
Social Network

By Jesse Jack

Duquesne University, English PhD
Part of the larger project Mabel Dodge Luhan: Musing the Avant-Garde, this network map traces social interactions between Mabel Dodge and other key avant-garde figures between the years of 1912 and 1914. Dodge held two prominent salons in New York’s Greenwich Village and in Florence, Italy. At 23 Fifth Avenue and the Villa Curonia respectively, Dodge gathered together leading painters, sculptors, authors and more. Her salons served as critical apexes of communication between artists and authors including: Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, Carl Van Vechten, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and many more.
social network visualization mapping Mabel Dodge and her connections in the avant-garde
Color Key
  • Mabel Dodge: Bright Orange
  • Carl Van Vechten: Gray
  • Gertrude Stein: Deep Purple
  • Mina Loy: Deep Orange
  • Neith Boyce: Light Purple

This map, produced through Gephi software, compiles data from a variety of sources to trace known moments of social connection (either in person or via letters) between such leading Avant-Garde figures. Each figure is represented by a node (a colored circle) and lines of intersection that bridge that person to individuals around him or her with whom contact was made. Larger nodes indicate greater social influence based on the sources reviewed. Such sources centered around the lives of Mabel Dodge, Gertrude Stein, Carl Van Vechten, Mina Loy, and Neith Boyce. These primary figures alone were assigned a unique color representation as indicated in the key below. You might notice, however, that the colors indicated in the key do not always correspond to the color represented in the network map. Just as two individuals influence each other once in communication, so too does Gephi blend colors each time an individual intersects with someone else to reveal the generative artistic possibilities made possible through each union.

In this brief YouTube video, I single out each of the primary nodes to make visible their specific social connections:


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