4.20.2008

we went to the hollyhock house (for the first time -- been to barnsdall lots, but not since hollyhock was reopened)

was struck by over lap -- not with schindler, neutra, lloyd wright, way she connected people, so much as

While the rest of her life was more focused on raising her child and collecting art, she never abandoned her passionate embrace of progressive and socialist causes. To the consternation of her Olive Hill neighbors, Barnsdall used Olive Hill as the sounding and poster board for her many causes. Her support for the release of Thomas Mooney, a militant labor leader was perhaps her most celebrated, long-standing cause.


Lloyd Wright designed Barnsdall protest sign.

Mooney was charged and convicted of planting the bomb that exploded in a 1916 San Francisco Preparedness Day Parade. Many, including Emma Goldman and several of Barnsdall's other friends convinced Barnsdall he was innocent and she should fund his defense. But it was not only her "pinko" friends who believed Mooney was framed; the conservative judge that found him guilty, six months later was stumping around the state proclaiming Mooney's innocence.

Barnsdall became the chief financier of Mooney's defense, with Olive Hill at one point being its headquarters. For years the Olive Hill property was ringed with bill boards protesting Mooney's innocence, and in the early thirties, Lloyd Wright redesigned the billboards so they would be less obnoxious. Barnsdall used the billboards as her own personal newspaper, urging everything from the election of Upton Sinclair and Culbert Olson as governor to opposing entry into the war.

Barnsdall's support for Mooney, even though he was eventually released and declared innocent, along with her friendship with Emma Goldman and other socialists lead the FBI to trail Barnsdall for 24 years, believing her part of the "lunatic fringe." For more than two decades FBI reports of her prosaic doings, including her hair salon appointments and hotel trips were dutifully sent to J. Edgar Hoover, before they belatedly concluded she was just a harmless wealthy lady with bohemian leanings.

tHE ANARCHISTS!!! Lola Ridge?

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