Recent Gifts to the Museum of the Big Bend

Recent gifts to the museum are displayed in the glass case along the hallway in the new Emmett and Miriam McCoy building. Here are pieces from each category in the exhibit.

They Came to Teach

Anna Elizabeth Keener was chosen in 1925 to head the Department of Drawing which was renamed the Art Department during her tenure at Sul Ross State Teachers College.  After finishing her year at Sul Ross, Keener took some time off and then returned to the classroom in the 1930s teaching at schools in Red River, Ojo Caliente, Las Vegas and Gallup, New Mexico.  Keener studied in Mexico City in 1941, and later in 1953, and in 1942 began a twelve-year teaching career at Eastern New Mexico University, Portales.  She continued her studies and took courses at Colorado State Teachers College in Greeley and earned her second Masters of Art from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 1951.

Retiring in 1954 from Eastern New Mexico State University, Keener moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  While in Santa Fe she continued painting and print making, participated in various art groups and served as juror for many exhibitions.  She was one of the organizers of the New Mexico Arts Commission and as a member of Artists Equity, Inc. worked for legislation to establish a National Council of the Arts.  She died in Santa Fe in 1982.  Keener was affiliated with American Artists Professional League; American Federation of Arts; International Institute of Arts and Letters; National and New Mexico Art Education Associations; Southern States Art League and Western Art Association.

Image: Alert, 1962, Acrylic polymer latex on panel, 34″ x 16″, Anna E. Keener.
Gift of Tsenre Deveraux. Shown at the 1962 Biennial at the Museum of New Mexico

They Came to Learn

Enrique Espinosa, born and raised in Alpine, Texas, attended Sul Ross State Teachers College and studied under Xavier Gonzalez. For his senior art project, he painted a mural of West Texas in the Big Bend Memorial Museum, now the Museum of the Big Bend, where a portion of it can be seen. Following graduation from Sul Ross, he served as an artist in the Army during World War II, painting battle scenes. He moved to Greenwich Village after the war. In 1968, he began creating elaborate Christmas trees at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the White House with Loretta Hines Howard.

Image: Iran, 1945, Oil on canvas, 15.75″ x 9.5″, Enrique Espinosa. Gift of Karen Little and Tim Roberts

They Came to Explore

Elmer Boone was born in Joplin, Missouri, and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. He moved to El Paso in 1925 where he opened a studio at the Electric Company building. Before moving to El Paso, Boone briefly painted with Charles M. Russell. He is best known for his Southwest Landscapes and Mexican Folk Studies of Mexico, West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.

Image: Santa Elena Canyon, c. late 1920s, Oil on Masonite board, 21″ x 26″, Elmer Boone. Donated by nephew of the artist, Major Thomas A. Spencer, US Army (Retired).