The women who left their lives in the early to mid 20th century
and headed to Taos will be forever entwined together historically. The most famous being Georgia O'Keeffe to the originator of the mystical bohemian movement, Mabel Dodge Luhan.
For us, the most compelling of these brave women is Millicent Rogers. A Truman Capote "Swan" and Standard Oil heiress, Rogers was deeply embraced in her circles as a fashion maverick and a woman of salacious wit. From her time in New York in which she worked closely with American fashion designer Charles James, posed for Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, and on to her period living in Austria prior to WWII, Rogers a woman in constant motion. Continually and addictively adapting fashion and design via her surroundings.
Following a failed relationship in Los Angeles with Clark Gable, costume designer to the stars and close friend, Adrian, brought Rogers to New Mexico for an escape from her heartbreak. Rogers discovered a deep spiritual kinship to the Native American way of life and never left. Taking up in a gorgeous adobe estate named, Turtle Walk, Rogers spent the remainder of her short life (she passed away at 51) as an activist for Native American rights when she found out the federal government gave residents of the reservations numbers in lieu of names. More famously though, she is known as the single most influential person in fashion who created a bridge between Native American culture and a blueprint of what it should represent. That avant-garde blueprint is still in placement today and borrowed heavily by designers like Ralph Lauren and John Galliano. Personally, I would extend this blueprint into jewelry design and further into interior design. Everything Millicent Rogers touched seemed to so beautifully and respectfully build on each culture she touched, especially in New Mexico.
When we found ourselves in Taos on our last trip to New Mexico last month, our first stop was of course the Millicent Rogers Museum. The museum houses a beautiful collection of pottery (Maria Martinez), woven textiles, painting, sculpture, and of course the Millicent Rogers jewelry collection. To say the collection is beyond excellent, is to underwhelm it. It is something truly to be seen in person in conjunction with Ghost Ranch. We thought we would start out the visual journal with something you see at the end of the exhibits in this case.