Anne & John Marion
Museum Founders • Santa Fe, NM
Distinction: The Marions established the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the first art museum dedicated to the work of a woman artist of international stature.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in the art world over the years? A much wider interest on the part of the general public.
What inspired you to found the museum? The Southwest, and particularly the Santa Fe area, was Georgia O’Keeffe country, and yet there were very few examples of her work to be seen. Stanley Marcus came to us about exhibiting, and possibly giving, some works we owned to the Museum of New Mexico. From that talk, the idea grew to have a museum dedicated to her work.
What are you proudest of about the museum? The wide acceptance of the museum in the community as well as the art world in general. It is the largest attended art museum in New Mexico.
How do you think the museum has contributed to public awareness and appreciation for O’Keeffe’s works? We are very proud of the many scholarly exhibitions that have been shown at the museum. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center has encouraged scholarship through publications as well as symposia.
What do you hope the museum accomplishes in the next 10 years? Hopefully a proper endowment can be established which will ensure the future of the museum. I imagine in the future there will be more attention paid to American modernism and how O’Keeffe fits into it. The scholarship we have begun will continue to develop.
How do you describe the museum? A jewel box filled with many treasures.
Featured in “40 Prominent People” in May 2011.