Remembering Lois Rudnick

Photograph of Lois and Nell
Lois Rudnick with Nell at the Harwood Museum of Art, Taos, NM, August 2016

A very dear friend and mentor, Lois Rudnick, has passed away. I’d like to share a few memories of her here.

Lois was a true intellectual with a seemingly boundless appreciation for the arts, culture, and the natural world. Her fierce drive to build a more equitable society through teaching, advocacy, and activism was matched by her unfailing (and sometimes outrageous) sense of humor, as well as her affectionate and nurturing spirit. She had an impact on countless people, and I’m very grateful to be among them.

Lois was a scholar, writer, curator, and Professor Emerita in American Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston, who retired to Santa Fe. We met in 2016 when I approached her as a fan of her authoritative biographies of Mabel Dodge Luhan, about whom I was writing a chamber opera (Mabel’s Call). Lois’s writings, and our conversations, significantly shaped my opera. She subsequently became an enthusiastic supporter and advocate for my work, collaborating with me on several public presentations. Our mutual appreciation was the start of a wonderful friendship.

Even in the last few months of her life, Lois published yet another book about remarkable people whose stories reflect the complexities of the American experience (Eva Mirabal: Three Generations of Tradition and Modernity at Taos Pueblo).

Lois lived in wholehearted engagement with the world around her, and I will always remember her for that with love and admiration. Thank you, Lois.

"Eva Mirabal: Three Generations of Tradition and Modernity at Taos Pueblo," 2021

  • Obituary from the Santa Fe New Mexican.
  • Online presentation that Lois gave with her co-author Jonathan Warm Day Coming last month (May 2021) about their new book.
  • Essay by Lois from May 2020 about her journey with with multiple myeloma.

Here is a selection of Lois Rudnick’s works as an author and editor: