Anne Evans had a profound effect on the cultural and literary landscape of Colorado – from the Denver Art Museum to the Central City Opera. Her leadership in Denver started as early as 1895 when she was elected a member of the Denver Artists Club, and it expanded when she was appointed to the Municipal Art Commission charged with redesigning Denver’s Civic Center. She served on the Denver Public Library Commission including two consecutive four-year terms as its first female President, during which time she initiated the construction of eight branch libraries. She served as a director of the Evans Investment Company.
Evans’ passion was art. She studied art in Paris, Berlin, New York, and the University of Denver. She used her influence to establish gallery space in the main library branch. When space was needed for books, an art gallery was created in the new City and County Building owing to her positions on the Denver Art Museum Board and the committee to build the new building. Evans contributed her time to the Denver Art Museum eventually becoming interim director. She donated her extensive Native American Art collection which made it the first United States museum to collect Native American Art. Evans’ influence and leadership at the Denver Art Museum established the Native Arts and Spanish Colonial collections, valued today as two of the best art museum collections in the United States.
Evans continued her vision for an educated and culturally savvy Denver population by contributing her time, resources, and influence to the performing arts. As a founding member of the Central City Opera House, she raised funds for its restoration and for the inaugural Central City Opera Summer Festival in 1932, which continues to draw international artists and audiences. A plaque at Teller House reminds visitors of her many cultural contributions.
Evans had a zest for fun and this was evident when she spent summers on the Evans Ranch in the mountains west of Denver.
Her parents were Margaret and John Evans, Territorial Governor.