Lecture: D.H. Lawrence and "The Three Fates"
Sunday, November 13, 1-2 p.m.
LECTURE: D. H. LAWRENCE AND “THE THREE FATES”
Writer, curator, and blogger, Elizabeth Cunningham delves into the painting My Three Fates by Dorothy Brett. The painting features a self-portrait of the artist with Frieda and D.H. Lawrence, and Mabel Dodge Luhan.
The relationship between D. H. Lawrence and these Taos women has been an enduring subject of interest, even to each other. Dorothy Brett immortalized them in her 1958 painting, My Three Fates. Fifty years later the New Mexico Women’s Marker Initiative honored “The Three Fates”—Mabel, Frieda and Brett—with their own highway road sign. Most recently the musical Lorenzo’s Ashes (2012), the comedy Losing Lawrence (2015 along with the Mabel & Company-sponsored play, The Passions of Mabel Dodge Luhan, and opera Mabel's Call (on August 12th) provide new interpretations of their interactions. Liz Cunningham will talk about each woman’s relationship with Lawrence and with each other. Augmented by photos, paintings, and anecdotes, the lecture will be based on their unique perspectives, drawing from Frieda Lawrence’s Not I But the Wind, Dorothy Brett’s Lawrence and Brett, and Mabel’s Lorenzo in Taos.
Using the women’s own words, including previously unpublished documents and little known aspects of their lives, Cunningham aims to dispel the myths and misinterpretations that have grown up around these women—“they fought like cats in a bag”—and present them in their complexity. In her research, Cunningham noticed parallels running through Mabel, Frieda and Brett’s lives. These experiences placed them on even intellectual ground, creating three strong and fascinating characters. In Taos, all three had the freedom to become their authentic selves.
Dorothy Brett, My Three Fates, 1958. Oil on Canvas. Albuquerque Museum, Gift of the Albuquerque Museum Foundation, from the Lucia V.B. Batten Estate