Mildred Blewett McGehee

Published 10:01 am Wednesday, March 13, 2024

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SANTA FE, NM – Mildred (Milly) Blewett McGehee, 73, of Santa Fe, NM, passed away peacefully on Feb. 14, 2024, surrounded by family and friends.

She is survived by her spouse, Robyn Elizabeth Holley; her brother, William Carl McGehee Jr. (Rebecca) of Natchez, MS; her niece, Anna Catesby McGehee of Nashville, TN, and her nephew, William Carl McGehee III (Cammy) of Baton Rouge, LA.

Milly was preceded in death by her parents, William Carl McGehee and Sarah (Blewett) McGehee, and her beloved springer spaniel, Coco.

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Milly was born in Natchez, MS where she inherited her love of antiques from her parents who were collectors and who had restored two early houses in Natchez. Her interest in early American decorative arts was further cultivated with her coursework at Hollins College in Virginia. While a student at Hollins, she worked during the summer of her senior year as an intern at the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem, Winston-Salem, NC.  After graduating from Hollins in 1973, Milly returned to MESDA as its first field representative, gathering data for its now well-known research archives. It was her pioneering work in Wilmington, NC, that helped shape the museum’s celebrated field research program, documenting early southern furniture, ceramics, paintings, and other objects in private collections. She was named a fellow in the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Decorative Arts and Cultural History where she received her MA in 1976; her thesis covered the career of architect Levi Weeks in Natchez. After completing her graduate degree, Milly worked as a curator at the Hermitage, Nashville, TN, home of Andrew Jackson, and worked as a special assistant with curatorial responsibilities for the Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Ultimately, Milly’s love of research and discovery led her to travel throughout the country as an antique dealer and open her shop, Milly McGehee Americana, in Dallas, TX, and later a gallery in Baltimore, MD. She was able to provide many important objects to well-known private and museum collections in the United States; she also appeared several times as an appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Road Show.

Milly loved the architecture, light, turquoise sky, and vistas of Santa Fe. She enriched the lives of her friends and family and will be remembered for her generosity, sense of fun, laughter, and quick wit.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to your local animal shelter or to the Historic Natchez Foundation.