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A fascinating portrait of the Standard Oil heirerss and legendary American trendsetter Millicent Rogers Nobody knew how to live the high life like Millicent Rogers. Born into luxury, she lived in a whirl of beautiful homes, European vacations, exquisite clothing and handsome men. In Searching for Beauty, Cherie Burns chronicles Rogers's glittering life from her days A fascinating portrait of the Standard Oil heirerss and legendary American trendsetter Millicent Rogers Nobody knew how to live the high life like Millicent Rogers. Born into luxury, she lived in a whirl of beautiful homes, European vacations, exquisite clothing and handsome men. In Searching for Beauty, Cherie Burns chronicles Rogers's glittering life from her days as a young girl afflicted with rheumatic fever to her debutante debut and her Taos finale. A rebellious icon of the age, she eloped with a penniless baron, danced tangos in European nightclubs, divorced, remarried and romanced, among others, Clark Gable. Her romantic conquests, though, paled in comparison to her triumph in the fashion world where she electrified the fashionistas by becoming the muse to designer Charles James, appearing in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and - at the end of her life - retreating to Taos, New Mexico where she popularized Southwestern style. With Searching for Beauty, Millicent Rogers enters the pantheon of great American women who, like Diana Vreeland and Babe Paley, put their distinctive stamp on American Style.


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A fascinating portrait of the Standard Oil heirerss and legendary American trendsetter Millicent Rogers Nobody knew how to live the high life like Millicent Rogers. Born into luxury, she lived in a whirl of beautiful homes, European vacations, exquisite clothing and handsome men. In Searching for Beauty, Cherie Burns chronicles Rogers's glittering life from her days A fascinating portrait of the Standard Oil heirerss and legendary American trendsetter Millicent Rogers Nobody knew how to live the high life like Millicent Rogers. Born into luxury, she lived in a whirl of beautiful homes, European vacations, exquisite clothing and handsome men. In Searching for Beauty, Cherie Burns chronicles Rogers's glittering life from her days as a young girl afflicted with rheumatic fever to her debutante debut and her Taos finale. A rebellious icon of the age, she eloped with a penniless baron, danced tangos in European nightclubs, divorced, remarried and romanced, among others, Clark Gable. Her romantic conquests, though, paled in comparison to her triumph in the fashion world where she electrified the fashionistas by becoming the muse to designer Charles James, appearing in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and - at the end of her life - retreating to Taos, New Mexico where she popularized Southwestern style. With Searching for Beauty, Millicent Rogers enters the pantheon of great American women who, like Diana Vreeland and Babe Paley, put their distinctive stamp on American Style.

30 review for Searching for Beauty: The Life of Millicent Rogers, the American Heiress Who Taught the World About Style

  1. 4 out of 5

    Terri Durling

    Being a fashionista, I am always intrigued by any books on style or women who are style icons. Millicent Rogers was all of that and then some. This was a very interesting book that really helps you to understand the woman from her beginnings as a rich little girl born into a very wealthy affluential family to her last days in New Mexico living a very different life than her previous ones. And she had many. She was married three times and seemed to always pick the same type of man. She had three Being a fashionista, I am always intrigued by any books on style or women who are style icons. Millicent Rogers was all of that and then some. This was a very interesting book that really helps you to understand the woman from her beginnings as a rich little girl born into a very wealthy affluential family to her last days in New Mexico living a very different life than her previous ones. And she had many. She was married three times and seemed to always pick the same type of man. She had three children, all sons, and wasn't exactly what you would call the ideal mother. She lived in a number of places throughout her life and the title "searching for beauty" was an excellent one because that seemed to be what she did best. She had exquisite taste, something she seemed to be born with and, had her life been a different one, she may have been an artist of some sort because she was an extremely talented, gifted and creative person in most aspects of her life - her clothes, her homes, her jewelry ... She collected beauty - everything from paintings done by famous artists to seashells. She was a big of an enigma but a very interesting one and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about her.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    The biography of the lady behind the Millicent rogers museum in Taos. The book seems well researched but not well edited; sometimes you don't have to include every detail discovered during research. I came away feeling this was an extraordinary woman of privilege and dysfunction. I find it hard to admire the values and lifestyle. Rogers' expenses when finances are "tight" are certainly different from the average person. I love her Southwestern collections and I'm appreciative of the Millicent Ro The biography of the lady behind the Millicent rogers museum in Taos. The book seems well researched but not well edited; sometimes you don't have to include every detail discovered during research. I came away feeling this was an extraordinary woman of privilege and dysfunction. I find it hard to admire the values and lifestyle. Rogers' expenses when finances are "tight" are certainly different from the average person. I love her Southwestern collections and I'm appreciative of the Millicent Rogers Museum - but what a wasted life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Millicent Rogers is a familiar name, particularly to those of us who travel to New Mexico, but until I read Cherie Burns' book I didn't have a clear picture of what a fascinating and complex woman she was. After completing the biography I could hardly say I understood her, but I certainly had an appreciation for her originality, her creativity, and her determination to design her life. Yes, design her life--if this book is an accurate depiction of the way Millicent Rogers lived, she was not diss Millicent Rogers is a familiar name, particularly to those of us who travel to New Mexico, but until I read Cherie Burns' book I didn't have a clear picture of what a fascinating and complex woman she was. After completing the biography I could hardly say I understood her, but I certainly had an appreciation for her originality, her creativity, and her determination to design her life. Yes, design her life--if this book is an accurate depiction of the way Millicent Rogers lived, she was not dissimilar to the carefully crafted jewelry that she designed. Bold. . . . determined to make a statement. . . . indifferent too current fashion or thought. In essence, totally original. I would have loved to know her, but it seemed her children didn't really know her. And, only a few friends were let "inside." I think she must have had a magical presence, but an enigmatic personality. Cherie Burns did a wonderful job in presenting the highlights and lowlights of her life and leaving us with enough mystery and curiosity that her character was beautifully sketched, and the final picture competed in the reader's mind. I loved reading about this very avant garde woman.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn Mel

    If you want to know more than most people want to know about Ms Rogers, this is your book. Burns is careful not to make things up about what she thought was going on and only quotes valid sources. It's trustworthy. For a bio of a socialite, it's a good book. She was an interesting woman and had exposure to grand swathes of life and history. I'm intrigued with the opportunities the ultra rich get to experiment with. Millicent cared about parties, travel, art and fashion. She really cared. She was If you want to know more than most people want to know about Ms Rogers, this is your book. Burns is careful not to make things up about what she thought was going on and only quotes valid sources. It's trustworthy. For a bio of a socialite, it's a good book. She was an interesting woman and had exposure to grand swathes of life and history. I'm intrigued with the opportunities the ultra rich get to experiment with. Millicent cared about parties, travel, art and fashion. She really cared. She wasn't stupid and she taught herself a lot. But she was still just a socialite, and not a very good mom of her three children. She left no great work or accomplishment that outweighs that fact. Though we do get to visit her museum which holds the proceeds of her compulsive shopping and collecting. About 3/4 through I began to regret that I couldn't find out more about some particulars of what she was doing: like during the war, and if she was ever embarrassed for stalking Gable, and what her sons think of her.... But Burns doesn't write fiction.... she only wrote what she had evidence for.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I love a good historic biography. I want to thank Cheri Burns, a Santa Fe, N.M. writer, for her great research into this fascinating woman, Millicent Rogers. This book is an important record to add American female history, and without this book I would not have gotten to know this fascinating woman. The story is delightfully decorated with this heiress’s life journey — her European adventures, designer gowns, divorces, glamour, growth and finding her final home in the American Southwest. Millice I love a good historic biography. I want to thank Cheri Burns, a Santa Fe, N.M. writer, for her great research into this fascinating woman, Millicent Rogers. This book is an important record to add American female history, and without this book I would not have gotten to know this fascinating woman. The story is delightfully decorated with this heiress’s life journey — her European adventures, designer gowns, divorces, glamour, growth and finding her final home in the American Southwest. Millicent Rogers love of Native American turquoise and silver jewelry brought their beautiful craft to the forefront of fashion and informed the public of the beauty and mystery of Santa Fe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patsy Crawford

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed reading about this 1900s socialite. I had never heard of her and like the other women (Doris Duke, Barbara Hutton, the Vanderbilt ladies, Huguette Clark)born millionairesses, her life did not paint a rosy picture - just like us not born millionairesses. I loved that she found what she longed for, finally.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sue Ronnenkamp

    Hard to relate to Rogers and her life and lifestyle - but I did finish the book and found it a somewhat interesting read. The part I wanted to read about most (her Taos years) was the best one for me. Feel like she finally deepened some at the end of her life, after living what appeared to be quite a shallow existence. I do look forward to visiting her New Mexico jewelry museum one day!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Detailed, long, but fascinating from beginning to end. What a life and what a manner of living it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate Lawrence

    I probably wouldn't have picked up this title on my own, but did so as part of a book club. I'd heard of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, but that's all I knew of her. She grew up in an extremely wealthy East Coast family overseen by a controlling father, married early and often, and seemed to look for meaning in life not through personal achievement, charity work, or family life, but by collecting beautiful homes, fashions and jewelry, which she also designed. She is still remembered as a f I probably wouldn't have picked up this title on my own, but did so as part of a book club. I'd heard of the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos, but that's all I knew of her. She grew up in an extremely wealthy East Coast family overseen by a controlling father, married early and often, and seemed to look for meaning in life not through personal achievement, charity work, or family life, but by collecting beautiful homes, fashions and jewelry, which she also designed. She is still remembered as a fashion icon as well as an art collector. The time she spent in Taos, only a few years at the end before her life was cut short by illness, was the most interesting part to me. Her outlook seemed to broaden as she explored the Native American culture she found there in the late 1940s and early 1950s. The author portrays Rogers sympathetically, but once in awhile inserts an opinion, rather than being careful to maintain a biographer's objectivity. I was somewhat frustrated by the absence of dates in the text, making it difficult to pinpoint when relationships developed and how long they lasted.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Frank Brennan

    You have to visit Taos NM and visit the Rogers Museum before reading this book. Otherwise, you will not have the context on Millicent and her life. Although Burns' work has some structural issues, it is a good look into the mega rich at the turn of the last century as well as a look at a woman who was decades ahead of her time. Interestingly, Millicent could easily have taken a conservative track and stayed in the NE, collecting this and that, while watching her money accumulate. She did not. Th You have to visit Taos NM and visit the Rogers Museum before reading this book. Otherwise, you will not have the context on Millicent and her life. Although Burns' work has some structural issues, it is a good look into the mega rich at the turn of the last century as well as a look at a woman who was decades ahead of her time. Interestingly, Millicent could easily have taken a conservative track and stayed in the NE, collecting this and that, while watching her money accumulate. She did not. That's what this story is really all about, although Burns doesn't make that clear. Rather, she gets lost in the weeds of the mega rich and their actions 1920-1940. Regardless, go to Taos. Take in that magical area. visit the Rogers Museum (and Kit Carson's small museum), then return home and read this book.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Zemeckis

    Taos Tini: 2oz tequila 1oz Cointreau 1/2 oz on 1/2 a line A dash if cayenne Mix and pour into two small martini glasses then settle in for this sometimes slow, occasionally repetitive book on the Oul Standard heiress Millicent Rogers. A delicate beauty with fragile health this woman born in 1902 led a life if art beauty and fashion- however she was more than a trendsetter she was a great philanthropist and champion of American Indians . An arguably neglectful mother she led a trail of romances, incl Taos Tini: 2oz tequila 1oz Cointreau 1/2 oz on 1/2 a line A dash if cayenne Mix and pour into two small martini glasses then settle in for this sometimes slow, occasionally repetitive book on the Oul Standard heiress Millicent Rogers. A delicate beauty with fragile health this woman born in 1902 led a life if art beauty and fashion- however she was more than a trendsetter she was a great philanthropist and champion of American Indians . An arguably neglectful mother she led a trail of romances, including Clark a Gable in her sable-cloaked wake. The book gives depth to what could have been a shallow rebelling of courtiers best customer. Living with the shadow of death always looming Rogers made much if her brief sojourn on earth. We'll worth the read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Barth

    Having been to the museum which bears her name Taos, I was really enthused when this book came out. In the beginning her life was fairly narrowly defined by the wealth of her Robber Baron father, a co-founder of Standard Oil. There were the requisite balls, homes, travel, and above all, the clothes and jewelry. Almost from the beginning she defined her own exquisite style, which she honed to a degree unseen by anyone else of her era. She moves through an amazing life, which ends with her greates Having been to the museum which bears her name Taos, I was really enthused when this book came out. In the beginning her life was fairly narrowly defined by the wealth of her Robber Baron father, a co-founder of Standard Oil. There were the requisite balls, homes, travel, and above all, the clothes and jewelry. Almost from the beginning she defined her own exquisite style, which she honed to a degree unseen by anyone else of her era. She moves through an amazing life, which ends with her greatest love affair: with Taos, its Native American population, their culture, their land and most important, their jewelry-- among which was a 4 pound turquoise necklace! A really moving account of a style icon.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan

    A fascinating story about a fascinating woman. However, not the best written book I've ever read. The chronology is a bit off, so parts of the book can be confusing, and it's weirdly racist (especially towards the end). There are a lot of racial slurs in there that should have been in quotations so it didn't sound like the author was using them. It was odd. A fascinating story about a fascinating woman. However, not the best written book I've ever read. The chronology is a bit off, so parts of the book can be confusing, and it's weirdly racist (especially towards the end). There are a lot of racial slurs in there that should have been in quotations so it didn't sound like the author was using them. It was odd.

  14. 5 out of 5

    J.Todd Ford

    Very informative and interesting book about her life; however, the writing is poorly done. I read this book after a recent visit to her museum in Taos, NM and it really helped me understand her life and the things located throughout this splendid museum.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Loved all the info in this book. But unfortunately for Millicent, and Cherie Burns, this book missed a few rounds of editing. It could have been so much better, if someone had just read it over... Still yummy info though about a fashion icon.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jill

    I loved this book. She had such a fascinating life. I didn't really look at her sources, but it was a good read. I loved this book. She had such a fascinating life. I didn't really look at her sources, but it was a good read.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    DNF - wasn't what I thought it was, quickly bored DNF - wasn't what I thought it was, quickly bored

  18. 4 out of 5

    ₵oincidental Ðandy

    Quite the life, hers.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Interesting read....she was a beauty and a serious art person as well as living a great life!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Informative but tedious, too long, way too much info about people other than Millicent.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Millicent was eccentric and interesting, but this book dragged on..... more editing would have improved matters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathy

    An interesting and enjoyable read. Nice background and review of Millicent Rogers; her life and the attendant period of history.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dona

    Parts of this bio were very interesting but there was a lot of unnecessary "fillers" I could have done without. Parts of this bio were very interesting but there was a lot of unnecessary "fillers" I could have done without.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This was a little dry- it could have used more quotes from her diaries and letters. That said, I enjoyed learning more about MR especially after visiting her museum in Taos…

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rhiannon Tyndell

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

  27. 5 out of 5

    laurel

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary Hill

  29. 5 out of 5

    False

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susie Crabtree

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