Millicent Rogers, also known as the “Standard Oil Heiress,” was a legendary woman of style whose bold, avant-garde taste played a significant role in the history of modern fashion. She was considered to be an exotic beauty who was featured in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and appeared annually on best-dressed lists. Millicent was a trendsetter who danced with European princes and attracted such men as Clark Gable, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward. When she was introduced to Taos, New Mexico a metamorphosis took place. Her contact with the Native American and Hispanic peoples of northern New Mexico revealed to her a way of life she had never experienced before. Drawn to the beauty of the Taos landscape, Millicent became particularly fascinated with the simplicity and warmth of its esoteric quality of life. Taos was a place where she could put her hectic wanderings behind her and it was in this environment that she assembled a stellar collection of Native American jewelry and continued to design and create her own. After her death the Millicent Rogers Museum was established in Taos to house her collection.
Join Dr. Shelby Tisdale, Director of the Center of Southwest Studies, as she traces Millicent’s journey from New York to Taos on Wednesday, July 11 at 1:30 pm.
Dr. Tisdale is the former Director of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/Laboratory of Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos. She has published forty articles and book chapters relating to American Indian art and culture, and women in the West. She contributed to and directed the publication of the Oklahoma Book Award winning Woven Worlds: Basketry from the Clark Field Collection, for the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma (2001). Her book, Fine Indian Jewelry of the Southwest: The Millicent Rogers Museum Collection (2006) received the Ralph Emerson Twitchell Book Award from the Historical Society of New Mexico and the Southwest Book Award from the Border Regional Library Association. She edited Spider Woman’s Gift: Nineteenth-Century Diné Textiles (2011). Her latest book, Pablita Velarde: In Her Own Words (2012), is a full-length biography of this famous American Indian painter. The Center of Southwest Studies currently has one of Pablita Velarde’s paintings on exhibit to accompany the travelling exhibition of her daughter Helen Hardin’s etchings.