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Colin de Land collection, 1968-2008, bulk 1980-2003

de Land, Colin, 1955-2003


Collection Information

Size: 15.15 linear feet

Summary: The Colin de Land collection measures 15.15 linear feet and dates from 1968 to 2008, with the bulk of the collection dating from the early 1980s through 2003. The majority of the collection consists of photographic material, primarily snapshots, documenting daily life in and around de Land's gallery American Fine Arts, Co., as well as de Land's pesonal life and affairs. There are candid photographs of exhibition openings, day-to-day gallery operations, art fairs, vacations, social gatherings, and New York City street scenes. Also included are some personal objects belonging to de Land and his wife Pat Hearn, as well as two scrapbooks containing items once decorating the walls of de Land's office at American Fine Arts. The collection includes film and video material documenting trips to Cape Cod, Hearn's illness, and occasional art world events.

Biographical/Historical Note

Colin de Land (1955-2003) was a New York art dealer whose galleries in the East Village, SoHo, and Chelsea promoted cutting-edge artists with interests ranging from institutional critique to video to abstract painting. De Land's American Fine Arts gallery on Wooster Street in particular became a staging ground and refuge for figures in the alternative art world, with de Land acting as ringmaster and provocateur. Mr. de Land took over the Chelsea space of his wife, Pat Hearn, after she died in 2000, where he staged a notorious performance by the band The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black led by the performance artist Kembra Pfahler, who became his companion. Mr. de Land studied philosophy and linguistics at New York University and helped found the New York Armory Show.


The papers were donated in 2008 by Dennis Balk, an artist at the American Fine Arts gallery and a close friend of de Land's.

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