Millicent Rogers was a socialite and Standard Oil heiress who helped foster the southwest art scene in the 1940s and early 1950s. She had impeccable fashion sense, especially with regard to silver bracelets, necklaces, and rings with turquoise and other semi-precious stones.
This museum, on the northern outskirts of Taos near the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, is not her former home; that is privately held by family members. The museum building is the stylish home of her friends the Andersons, who donated it in her memory.
Rogers played a critical role in alerting the art world of the phenomenal pottery work done by Maria Martinez of the San Ildefonso Pueblo and her family of native american potters. Rogers amassed what appears to be the largest collection of early 20th Century Martinez pottery in the Southwest, far more than in any of the state museums I've seen.
Rogers' jewelry collection is another highlight of this museum. She enjoyed the big, ornate bracelets and necklaces, especially a 1947 necklace of probably 50 turquoise pieces. Well worth seeing, even for those not particularly fashion-conscious.
The museum hosts exhibitions of juried local painters, and a collection of illustrations Rogers made for her then-young children offers a poignant reminder of a life cut short by illness.
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