Skip to Main Content

Lannan Sculptures and PBCC Museum of Art History: History of the Lannan Foundation and PBJC Art Museum

History from the Lannan Foundation Website


patrick Lannan, Sr with Carl Sandburg

In 1960 J. Patrick Lannan, Sr., entrepreneur, and financier established Lannan Foundation. A self-educated scholar and liberal thinker, he believed strongly in the social importance of charitable programs and in the cultural importance of innovative and controversial forms of visual and literary art. During his lifetime, Mr. Lannan assembled an extensive collection of contemporary and modern American and European art. Included in his collection were important early works by emerging artists who went on to develop international reputations.

Mr. Lannan died in 1983 at the age of 78. In 1986 Lannan Foundation received a substantial endowment from his estate. Under the leadership of Patrick Lannan, the foundation continued its expansion of the collection and instituted national programs for grant-making in contemporary visual and literary arts.

Tom Otterness frieze

In 1986 the board of directors elected to relocate the foundation’s headquarters from Lake Worth, Florida, to Los Angeles, California. The Lannan Museum in Lake Worth was donated to Palm Beach Community College. In addition, the foundation donated a collection of more than 1,000 American craft objects, approximately 20 works of kinetic art dating from the 1960s and 1970s, and a Tom Otterness frieze, Battle of the Sexes (opposite), which had been commissioned especially for the building.

On moving to Los Angeles, the foundation renovated an industrial building in the western section of the city to house its administrative offices, exhibition galleries, storage facility, and libraries. In 1992 public artist Siah Armajani created The Poetry Garden for the courtyard, intended to serve as a quiet retreat for visitors to the exhibition galleries, as well as the site for special events including literary readings and lectures.

In Los Angeles, the Visual Art Program actively collected contemporary art, mounted numerous exhibitions at the foundation, and began grantmaking. The Literary Program was initiated in 1988 and the first annual literary awards in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry were made in 1989, the same year as the first programming in the Readings & Conversations series. The program now includes active grantmaking to nonprofit organizations and a residency program offered to writers.

In 1994 Lannan initiated the Indigenous Communities Program to address the urgent needs of rural Native American communities. Funding priority is given to projects that are consistent with traditional values, in the areas of education, Native cultures, the revival and preservation of languages, legal rights, and environmental protection.

In 1996 the foundation created a museum acquisition and gift program to disperse its art collection to museums throughout the U.S. Since the inception of this program, over 900 pieces have been placed at 50 museums, making the works accessible to significantly larger and more diverse audiences.

The first Prize for Cultural Freedom was awarded in 1999 and grantmaking and fellowships have been added to this program since.

Lannan Foundation relocated its offices from Los Angeles to Santa Fe in 1997. The foundation’s offices are located at 313 Read Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501.



History of the Lannan Foundation and the PBJC Art Museum from Local Newspapers Articles

To access these articles from Off-Campus:

Go to

  • Select "Search the Databases"
  • Select America's Newspapers (NewsBank)
  • Copy and Paste the title of the article into the Search box
  • On the next search box choose the source and type the name of the newspaper

Judge Paints an Ultimatum for Art Foundation- Miami Herald Feb. 7, 1985

Art Foundation Fight Continues- Miami Herald- Feb. 8, 1985

Lannan Children to Control Art Foundation- Miami Herald-Feb. 9, 1985

Lawrence Lannan, Foundation Director Who Lost Bid to Control Org. - Mar. 23, 1985

Lake Worth Museum Gets $80 Million Gift Grant...-Miami Herald- Jan. 9, 1986

Foundation to Buy Art with $80 Million Gift- Miami Herald- Jan. 9, 1986

Lannan Foundation Praises $80 Million Gifts-  Sun Sentinel- January 10, 1986

The Art of Giving _ Miami Herald- Jan. 13, 1986

Museum Thoroughly Modern in its Vast Collection of Artwork- Sun Sentinel- Mar. 17, 1986

A Well-endowed Museum, The New Director...- Sun Sentinel- Mar. 30, 1986

Site Sought for PBJC Cultural Center- Sun Sentinel - Apr. 3, 1986

4 Counties Will Share the Gift of Art Estate- Miami Herald- July 1, 1986

Sculptures Will Be Put on Display- Sun Sentinel- July 2, 1986

County to Receive Valuable Sculptures- Sun Sentinel- July 2, 1986

A Welcome Gift - Miami Herald - July 2, 1986

Lannan Foundation Making Gifts of 36 Sculptures -Sun Sentinel-July 13, 1986  

New Sculpture Assist Culture Quest- Sun Sentinel- October 1, 1986

Fantasies of Furniture- Sun Sentinel- May 8, 1987

Fantastic Furniture Lannan Estate Featured...-Miami Herald- Sept. 10, 1987

Foundation to Shut Lannan Museum- Miami Herald -Aug. 12, 1988

Lannan Home to Modern Art to Close- Miami Herald - Aug. 12, 1988

Art Collection to be Moved- Lannan Museum to Leave Fla. - Sun Sentinel- Aug. 13, 1988

Lannan: A Great Loss- Miami Herald - Aug. 15, 1988

Lannan's Presence Needn't Be Lost ...- Miami Herald- Aug. 20, 1988

Institutions Move to Fill Lannan's Void- Miami Herald- Aug. 21, 1988

Area Museum Worth Preserving- Sun Sentinel- Sept. 1, 1988

Lannan Art Collection to Stay in County- Miami Herald - Nov. 12, 1988

Lannan Museum Part of Collection Given to PBCC- Sun Sentinel- Nov. 12, 1988

Thanks to Lannan -Editorial- Palm Beach Post- Nov. 19, 1988

Museum's Offer Deserves Support- Sun Sentinel- Nov. 26, 1988

Contribution Made- Sun Sentinel Dec. 2, 1988

Walls Without a Museum- ArtNews – Jan. 1989

PBCC Has Half of Lannan Building Money -Palm Beach Post – Feb. 24, 1989

Lannan Museum Offers Its Last Picture Show”-Palm Beach Post – March 4, 1989

Lannan Museum Ends Its Era in Lake Worth- Sun-Sentinel – March 5, 1989

Consultant Finds Historic Buildings in Lake Worth- Palm Beach Post – March 29, 1989

PBCC Raises $500,000 to Purchase Lannan Museum- Palm Beach Post --- June 27, 1989

PBCC gets $88,000 for Lannan Museum- Palm Beach Post – June 28, 1989

Grant Boosts Efforts to Revamp Art Museum- Miami Herald – June 28, 1989

New Museum Sculpted from Lannan’s Shell-Palm Beach Post – July 9, 1989

College Seeks Cash for Fixing Lannan- Palm Beach Post – Oct. 20, 1989

Lannan Museum Closed until 1991- Palm Beach Post – Jan. 19, 1990

Arts Council to Ask for $24.2 million- Palm Beach Post – Feb. 7, 1990

Arts Council Imposes Cap on Building Grants- Palm Beach Post – Feb. 11, 1990

State Allocates $2.5 million for County Arts-Palm Beach Post – Aug. 25, 1990

PBCC Museum of Art to Open in January- Palm Beach Post – Nov. 2, 1990

Lannan Museum Reopening as PBCC Museum of Art- Palm Beach Post -- Jan. 13, 1991

Art Returns to Lannan’s Old Home -Miami Herald – Jan. 19, 1991

Show Aims to Win Friends for Museum-Palm Beach Post – Jan. 27, 1991

Our Newest Museum Mounts Off the Wall Show -Miami Herald – March 23, 1991

Lannan’s Eye for Art Makes PBCC Crafts Show Possible - Palm Beach Post – June 9, 1991

Shy Collector Holds Lake Worth Exhibit -Palm Beach Post – Mar. 13, 1992

Museum Enters New Dimension-PBCC Exhibit … -Palm Beach Post – Mar. 20, 1992

Vagabond Collection Finds a Home in Lucky Lake Worth - Miami Herald -- Mar. 22, 1992

Multiple Attractions Is It One Art Exhibition - Sun-Sentinel -- Sept. 18, 1992

Exhibit at PBCC Has Halloween Spirit-Last Call- Sun-Sentinel -- Nov. 4, 1992

Art on the Move … -Sun-Sentinel -- Nov. 13, 1992

For the Love of Art – Art Auction- Sun-Sentinel -- Feb. 5, 1993

PBCC Museum Turns to Lannan Collection-  Palm Beach Post – Feb. 19, 1993

Museum Exhibits Dutch Drawings - Palm Beach Post – Nov. 19, 1993

Exhibition Inspired by Water- Palm Beach Show Artful, Timeless -Miami Herald – Apr. 23, 1994

Hot Glass Art Celebrated in PBCC Show - Sun-Sentinel -- May 8, 1994

A Banner Year-Circus Streamer Exhibit - Sun-Sentinel -- Oct. 16, 1994

Retirees Who’d Pass up Lake Worth: Look Again - Palm Beach Post – Jan. 4, 1995

Eissey’s Years at Palm Beach Community - Palm Beach Post – Feb. 14, 1996

College’s Museum Hopes to Shed Obscurity, Debt - Palm Beach Post – Sept. 28, 1997

Lake Worth Museum’s Collection in Disarray - Palm Beach Post – Aug. 18, 1998

Museum of Contemporary Art a Money-Loser for PBCC -Palm Beach Post – Jan. 12, 1999

Attempt to Sell off PBCC Museum, Art Betrays Community - Palm Beach Post – Jan 17, 1999

You Don’t Sell Museums -Palm Beach Post – Feb. 1, 1999

Giving Museum the Brushoff Proves a Difficult Task for PBCC  -Palm Beach Post – Feb. 7, 1999

PBCC Panel Votes to End Museum Post -Palm Beach Post – Feb. 11, 1999

Please, PBCC: Don’t Sell Historic Museum Building - Palm Beach Post – Feb. 16, 1999

PBCC Works on Deal to Keep Art museum in Lake Worth -Palm Beach Post – Feb. 19, 1999

Attorney Offers to Save PBCC Museum -Palm Beach Post – Mar. 2, 1999

Lannan Would Be Proud of Montgomery - Palm Beach Post – Mar. 12, 1999

Deal Nearly Ready on PBCC Museum - Palm Beach Post – Mar. 18, 1999

Museum Sold on Promise It Will Stay a Museum - Palm Beach Post – Apr. 6, 1999

Lake Worth Museum Changing Owners - Sun-Sentinel – Apr. 6, 1999

PBCC Sale of Museum Expected to Rescue It - Palm Beach Post – July 2, 1999

Museum Strives to Be a Modern Marvel -Palm Beach Post – Sept. 12, 1999

New Image for Lake Worth Art Museum a Work in Progress -Sun-Sentinel – Oct. 9, 1999

Contemporary Art Back in Lake Worth - Palm Beach Daily News – Feb. 27, 2000

A Museum Makeover -Palm Beach Post – Mar. 5, 2000

New Museum Director in a Rush to Start Job - Sun-Sentinel – July 15, 2000

Museum Buying Lot for $150K - Palm Beach Daily News – Aug. 13, 2000

NY Financier Pays $20.5m for Estate -Palm Beach Daily News – July 10, 2003

Scene Duller without the Cutting-Edge - Palm Beach Post – May 2, 2004

Director Quits Over Museum’s Direction - Palm Beach Daily News – Apr. 22, 2004

Remember Lannan Role at Four Winds -Palm Beach Daily News – Aug. 22, 2004

Owner: PBICA ‘Not Feasible’ Will Close -Palm Beach Daily News – Jan. 15, 2005

Museum of Today’s Art Plans to Close-  Palm Beach Post – Jan. 16, 2005

Loneliest Museum in Town Closes Doors Saturday – Palm Beach Post – Mar. 20, 2005

Moving Art - Palm Beach Daily News – June 2, 2005

Old Museum Site/Could Be New Home for Cultural Council– Palm Beach Daily News–Sept 13,2009

Cultural Council Gets New Home - Palm Beach Daily News – Jan. 20, 2010

Cultural Council Moving to Lake Worth - Palm Beach Post – Jan. 20, 2010

Cultural Council to Move into City - Sun-Sentinel – Jan. 27, 2010