Icon, American Style Exhibit at Millicent Rogers Museum

Icon, American Style Exhibit at Millicent Rogers Museum


Millicent Rogers Museum

1504 Millicent Rogers Rd.

P.O. Box 1210

Taos, NM 87571




Contact: Dr. Caroline Jean Fernald, Executive Director

575.758.2462 ext. 205 



For Immediate Release


Icon, American Style, a new exhibit on view at the Millicent Rogers Museum, focuses on the role of Millicent Rogers as a fashion muse, icon, and jewelry designer, and features rare archival images, fashion magazines, tabloids, clothing, and jewelry.  Icon, American Style is currently on view and will remain on exhibit until May 2020.


Born in 1902 as an heiress to the Standard Oil fortune, Millicent Rogers’ life was set to be one of wealth and privilege.  However, at a young age, she contracted rheumatic fever, a debilitating disease that caused severe, lifelong health complications and physical disabilities.  Knowing that she would inevitably die young, Rogers’ developed a rebellious and independent spirit, and defied the restrictions of high society on her life choices.  


At 21, she married an Austrian count against her father’s wishes and eloped to Europe where they had a son.  In response to her decision, her father cut her off from the family fortune and she promptly filed divorce papers and returned to the United States with her son.  The ensuing divorce proceedings and international custody battle established Rogers as a popular subject for tabloids, which continued throughout her entire life.  She married and divorced three times (Ludwig von Salm-Hoogstraeten, Arturo Peralta-Ramos, and Ronald Balcom) and had three sons (Peter Salm, Arturo Peralta-Ramos II, and Paul Peralta-Ramos) as well as several high profile romances with such figures as Roald Dahl, Ian Flemming, and Clark Gable.  Her love affair with Gable and subsequent heartache inspired her first visit to Taos, New Mexico where she immediately fell in love with the landscape, arts, and cultures of the American Southwest.  


Her popularity through tabloid coverage, her place in high society, and her unique style brought her to the attention of the fashion world, and she was featured frequently in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.  Rogers was renowned for her style and was a major patron for such prominent early to mid-century designers as Charles James, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Mainbocher.  In addition to her fashion sense, Rogers was an avid collector of Southwest Native American jewelry and a prolific jewelry designer. Photographs in fashion magazines of Rogers often depict her wearing haute couture accessorized with Navajo and Zuni silver and turquoise bracelets along with jewelry of her own design.  


Icon, American Style tells the story of Rogers’ influence on the fashion world as well as her immense skill as a jewelry designer, and this exhibit features dozens of Rogers’ original sketches and finished pieces.  The Millicent Rogers Museum partnered with local jeweler David Anderson in the repair of several items included in the exhibit and the recreation of pieces designed by Rogers for the museum’s store.  Anderson has a unique connection to the museum’s history.  His grandparents donated their private residence to the museum in 1968, and childhood visits to the museum’s collection inspired him to become a professional jeweler.  


The Millicent Rogers Museum was founded in 1956 by Rogers’ youngest son, Paul Peralta-Ramos, as a tribute to his mother after her death in 1953.  The museum was founded with Rogers’ personal collection of Native American jewelry, textiles, paintings, pottery, and baskets, and has since grown to over 7,000 objects.  Selections from this collection are displayed in the museum’s 15 galleries and special exhibits.  The Millicent Rogers Museum is open from 10-5 (MST) Tuesday through Sunday from November to March, and is open every day from April to October.  Visit www.millicentrogers.com or call (575) 758-2462 for more information about the museum, holiday closures, and special exhibits.