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Born to a position of privilege in the young city of Denver, Anne Evans was the daughter of John Evans, Colorado’s second Territorial Governor, and Margaret Patten Gray Evans. Anne’s education included teenage studies at schools in Paris and Berlin, followed by years as a student at the Art Students’ League in New York.

Assured of a modest income, she devoted herself to volunteer efforts for the causes about which she cared passionately. Anne Evans also had a great zest for the playful side of life. Her summers were spent on the Evans Ranch in the mountains west of Denver, where she built her own unique mountain home. Never, marries, she lived as part of the household of her brother, William Gray Evans, at 1310 Bannock Street. This home is now the Byers-Evans House Museum, a property of History Colorado open to the public.

Anne Evans was one of a small Denver group who had an early appreciation of the value of Native American art as worthy of being collected by art connoisseurs and placed in art museums. She donated her own collection to establish the Native American Art Department at the Denver Art Museum. An early leader is the movement to preserve New Mexico Mission churches, Anne Evans also became a collector of Santos and Retablos.

Her vision and unrelenting effort contributed greatly to the development of the Denver Art Museum; maturing of the Denver Public Library; restoration of the Central City Opera House and initiation of the Central City Summer Festival; support for Mayor Speer in the creation of the Civic Center and the flourishing of the Denver University Art and Theatre Departments. She was Vice President of the Evans Investment Company and served the Kulborne Ranch, she was instrumental in the founding of Kent Country Day School.

—Evelyn Waldron


Golden Triangle, art, capitol hill, William Byers, Evans, Native American Art, Denver Artist's Club

Recent Comments

There has been speculation that her interest in promoting Native American arts and crafts was due to guilt over her father’s possible involvement in the Sand Creek Massacre, 11/1864. I have never found evidence to support that opinion. She might have been influenced however, by the interests in southwestern arts and crafts by friends in the Denver Artist’s Club.

over 8 years ago, becky

If only you were logged in, you could share your thoughts about this person.