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John Whitney Payson

Former vice-chair of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture John Whitney Payson may well have been Florida’s fiercest advocate for arts and culture.

A successful gallerist and collector, he established the Joan Whitney and Charles Shipman Payson Charitable Foundation in 1987. The Foundation gave support to many arts and cultural institutions nationwide. Payson's love of the arts led him to serve on a number of boards, including the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME, the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, Williamstown, MA and the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts at the Kennedy Center. He was involved with the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture for many years and he served as Chair of the Board of Trustees from 1981 to 1988. 

In Florida, Payson worked diligently to support and uplift arts and culture. In 2014, Secretary of State Ken Detzner appointed him Ambassador for Florida Arts. He was a member of the Jupiter Island Arts Council and Vice Chair of Citizens for Florida Arts, Inc., the citizen support organization for the Division of Cultural Affairs.