Mary Bones' Retirement and Endowment

Mary Bones retires as Director of Museum of the Big Bend

Director Mary Bones has retired from the Museum of the Big Bend as of April 30, 2024. The Permian Basin Area Foundation is celebrating Mary’s remarkable legacy through the Mary Bones Endowment for the Museum of the Big Bend, established in her honor. We invite you to contribute. Your generosity will commemorate Mary’s profound impact on the Museum of the Big Bend and help to ensure its enduring growth and success for generations to come. Together, we can preserve and celebrate the cultural heritage she cherished. Click here to contribute!


Mary Bones began working with the Museum of the Big Bend 24 years ago as the Curator of Collections. One of her first assignments was the return of o6 Cowboy baseball memorabilia that was on loan to the museum from the Lacy Family. The hunt for those items gave her the opportunity to go through the entire museum collection and enabled her to have a thorough understanding of what the museum possessed.

From there she became the Curator of Temporary Exhibits and Adult Programming. In her time at the Museum, Mary mounted over 50 exhibits including Treasures from the Fred Remington Art Museum, Fred Darge Paints the Big Bend and Beyond and Andy Warhol Cowboys and Indians. She has been the lead curator of the Trappings of Texas exhibit since 2000 and through her hard work, this exhibit is nationally recognized as one of the finest western art and contemporary cowboy gear shows in the country.

One of the projects she is most proud of is The Lost Colony: Texas Regionalist Paintings exhibit and catalog featuring the artists who taught at Sul Ross during the long semesters and those who came to lead the summer Art Colony, 1921-1950. In 2017 Mary became the Interim Director of the museum, and Museum Director a year later. A capital campaign was launched to build a second museum building and the new Emmett and Miriam McCoy Building was dedicated in June 2023—a huge accomplishment!

I am proud of the work I have done at the MoBB, the staff and volunteers that I have had the pleasure of working with, the support of Sul Ross State University and the Texas State University System and all of the wonderful donors from members to foundations who recognize the good of this museum. — Mary Bones