After Treadwell’s husband, William McGeehan, moved to New York in 1914, Treadwell began to develop professional contacts and interests in that city. She made several cross-country trips from San Francisco to New York to visit McGeehan. On one such trip, she completed a 150-mile march with the feminist Lucy Stone League to deliver a petition on women’s suffrage to the New York legislature.
After Treadwell moved to New York in 1915, she established close friendships in the professional worlds of journalism, theatre and modern art. Especially in the latter area, Treadwell frequently attended social functions at the home of Walter and Louise Arensberg, noted modern art patrons. Through the Arensbergs, Treadwell formed close friendships with Marcel Duchamp, Robert Allerton Parker and Arthur Craven. Other notables in Treadwell’s circle of the 1910s and ‘20s included Heywood Broun, Ruth Hale, Guthrie McClintic, Katherine Cornell, Robert Edmond Jones, and Arthur Hopkins.
Treadwell’s New York years were filled with widespread experimentation and accomplishment. She completed a cross-country auto trip with her childhood friend Esther Barney in 1917; she wrote, produced and acted in her own plays; she had an affair with Maynard Dixon; she traveled as a journalist to Mexico to cover the Revolution; she received Broadway productions of her plays; she published a novel; and she and McGeehan traveled through Europe and North Africa. Treadwell’s professional careers in journalism and theatre reached their peaks in New York in the 1920s.
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