ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – They rare big fans of The Grace Museum in fact the group is even called Los Aficionados. For 50 years this group of women have been keeping a piece of Abilene history alive and helped make The Grace what it is today.

“This group of women is vital to really the life of The Grace Museum,” Former Grace Museum President and CEO Judy Godfrey said.

It all started in 1969, Evelyn Niblo created a group to help support the Museum of Fine Arts.

“We all met at my house and everybody wrote down the name of everyone they could possibly think of that we could mail an invitation to join,” Niblo said.

Calling themselves Los Aficionados which translates to fans or those who appreciate, this group of women has turned the Museum of Fine Arts into what’s now the iconic Grace Museum.

“They are the main support volunteer group. They do raise money every year and give to The Grace but I think what’s more important is the tons of hours that they donate every year in all facets of The Grace’s activities,” Godfrey said.

For Niblo, The Grace Museum will always be a work in progress and Los Aficionados is her masterpiece.

“50 years ago we were still living under the limiting image of what women could do so I guess I’m surprised it’s sustained itself,” Niblo said.

There are more than 100 members in the group now.