Oil and ranching heiress Anne Marion, a major patron of the arts who founded the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico, died on Tuesday. She was 81.
Marion was a particularly pivotal force in the American Southwest, as the primary benefactor of the Modern Art Museum in her native Fort Worth, Texas. In the early 1980s, Marion noticed the museum’s cramped building only allowed for a small fraction of its holdings to be displayed. “I remember thinking, ‘What could we do about this?’ and I realized we couldn’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” she told the Star-Telegram in 2002. “We had to have a new building.” As chairwoman of the institution’s building committee, she selected Tadao Ando as the architect in 1997.
Among her list of honors are the Golden Deed award, the Charles Goodnight award, and the Governor’s Award for Excellence. She was also inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.