Ladies of the Canyons
The NMHC Speakers Bureau presents, Ladies of the Canyons, hosted by Lesley Polling-Kempes.
Ladies of the Canyons is a lecture/slide show about remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world. Educated, restless, and inquisitive, Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber, and Mary Cabot Wheelwright each left behind the comforts and confines of upper-class American society to explore the land and cultures of the exotic Four Corners Indian Country. They came into the Southwest between 1900 and 1922 when the region's indigenous people were undergoing cultural assault and intellectual scrutiny by the civilized world. Each of these women became art and cultural preservationists years before these causes were recognized as American ideals. Their friends included Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Elsie Clews Parsons, Mary Austin, and Willa Cather. Their adventures took them to Monument Valley and Rainbow Bridge, into Canyon de Chelly and the Grand Canyon, across the high mesas of the Hopi, and to the pueblos and the villages along the Rio Grande. Their saga includes Boston's Brahmins, the Greenwich Village avant-garde, the building of San Diego's Balboa Park, and the birth of Santa Fe's art and literary colony.
Lesley Poling-Kempes is the award winning author of six books of fiction and nonfiction about the American Southwest including Bone Horses winner of the 2014 WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction and the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction, and The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West winner of the Zia Award and recently optioned for a television series. Her newest book Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women & Their Adventures in the American Southwest won the 2015 Reading the West Book Award for nonfiction from the MPIBA, a Silver Medal in US History from the 2016 IPPY Awards, and is a WWA Spur Award finalist in historic nonfiction. She lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Free and open to the public event, brought to you by the New Mexico Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.