Wednesday, June 15, 2016

One of the many treasures that we have in our collection at the MRM is the Millicent Rogers archive, which was donated by her family and continues to grow.  We own the original Rogers family photos as well as the image rights, Millicent Rogers' hand-drawn jewelry designs, and even her childhood diary.  Examples of all of the above are included in Millicent as Visionary, a special exhibit honoring the museum's namesake.  One of several projects that we plan to support through funds raised at our upcoming Turquoise Gala is the digitization of these images and documents.  The Millicent Rogers archive has significance to a host of research subjects.

For example, Rogers was the granddaughter of Henry Huttleston Rogers, one of the founders, along with John D. Rockefeller, of the Standard Oil Company. Like Millicent Rogers herself, her grandfather provided financial support for a variety of friends and worthy causes who went on to become icons of American history.  Henry Huttleston Rogers supported Mark Twain during his career as a writer and sponsored Helen Keller's education. In fact, Keller dedicated her book, The World I Live In, to Rogers.

Likewise, Millicent Rogers advocated for Native American rights and bolstered the careers of numerous Native American artists by collecting their work. In a previous post, I discussed a turquoise ring from Millicent Rogers' personal collection that has been donated to our Turquoise Gala by her granddaughter, Christina Peralta-Ramos.  Like her grandfather, Rogers was close friends with many artists and writers, such as Dorothy Brett and Frank Waters.  The Frank Waters estate donated a variety of artworks for our gala, including a Dorothy Brett drawing.  Pictured above are images of the turquoise ring and a portrait of Rogers by Brett that is featured in our Millicent as Visionary exhibit.  Below is an image of the Brett drawing that will be available at our Turquoise Gala.

Rogers was also the muse for several notable fashion designers, such as Charles James and John Galliano, and donated the majority of her haute couture collection to the Brooklyn Museum, which now resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute.  Her own jewelry designs were influenced by her travels and interest in world art, and have subsequently inspired her great-granddaughter, Sascha Peralta-Ramos, to create her own jewelry line.  Mary Millicent designs are available at the MRM Store and were highlighted in a recent New York Times article.  If you are interested in helping the MRM continue to preserve this legacy, consider sponsoring our Turquoise Gala, purchase tickets to the event, or pledge an annual gift through our membership program.

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