Ellen Lanyon Biography

Ellen Lanyon




Ellen Lanyon was born on December 21, 1926, in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and attended Hyde Park High School. Lanyon studied at the University of Chicago, and earned her BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1948, and her MFA at the University of Iowa in 1950.

Lanyon’s paintings, drawings and prints were hung in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Krannert Museum, the McNay Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Brauer Museum. Three major retrospective exhibitions of her work were mounted. Her work was included in numerous group exhibitions and she had seventy-five solo gallery exhibitions.

Lanyon received several Armstrong Prize Awards and a Logan Prize from the Art Institute of Chicago, a Fulbright Study Grant, Cassandra Foundation Grant, Herewood Lester Cook Foundation Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Awards, a Florsheim Art Foundation Grant, several Yaddo Fellowships, an Ossabaw Island Project Fellowship, and two Purchase Awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Lanyon was elected to the Union League Club, Chicago; the Century Association, New York; and the National Academy of Design, New York.

In the 1960s she managed Ox-Bow, an art school in Saugatuck, Michigan. She taught for almost forty years at universities and professional art schools and retired as an Associate Professor of Cooper Union in New York.

Ellen Lanyon died in New York on October 7, 2013.