Mary N. Lannin, a Sonoma county resident for over thirty years, recently donated a collection of nearly 500 art books and exhibition catalogs that portray a rich collection of world cultures and artistic periods to the SRJC libraries. Gathered through her many travels, the books are a window to the most famous exhibitions held at some of the world's most geographically diverse museums, ranging from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim, Whitney, and Museum of Modern Art, the Kremlin Art Museum and Hermitage in Russia, and to exhibits held on the west coast at the San Francisco's de Young Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The wine industry brought Mary and her late husband to Sonoma County thirty years ago. For many years Mary marketed family-owned wineries nationally, maintaining a rigorous traveling schedule that kept her on the road nearly 70 percent of each month. Touring museums and enjoying the exhibits in the many cities she visited became a reward for the 1.4 million miles she accumulated through her work.
"I absolutely love museums," Mary says. "I like seeing the groups of school children in museums. They need to be able to see all aspects of art as it relates to themselves and their world." Mary has a deep-rooted passion for the arts. As a child she was drawn to museums and has fond memories of roaming the Science Museum in Minnesota. Her collection of art books began early, and started with archaeology - the first one she bought was The March of Archaeology, by C.W. Ceram, when she was a ten years old.
When asked for her expectations regarding this collection, which will be shared by the Doyle and Mahoney libraries, Mary responded, "I hope the students at Santa Rosa Junior College will see that there is great art everywhere. And I hope these books will bring students pleasure, and a different way of looking at the world."
Santa Rosa Junior College extends sincere thanks and gratitude to Mary N. Lannin for her generous donation that will broaden the educational opportunities for our students.
This sampler highlights some of the many books in the collection to feature the significant role of women in the arts throughout time and across cultures.