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Robert Delford Brown papers, 1964-2009

Brown, Robert Delford, 1930-2009

Performance artist

Collection Information

Size: 3.9 linear feet

Summary: The papers of painter, sculptor, and performance artist Robert Delford Brown measure 3.9 linear feet and date from 1964-2009. The papers document his career as an artist and in particular the arts space "church" he founded in New York City, known as The First National Church of Exquisite Panic, Inc. The collection consists of biographical material, correspondence, church records, printed material, photographic material, and video records of performance art. Brown's early career is documented in one scrapbook containing photographs, notes, and press materials. There is a 0.2 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2018 that includes 11 drawings, 2002 and 2008; photographs, flyers, and notes primary documenting Brown's happenings, including Originale (1964), Out of Order Please Use Toilet Down the Hall Across the Lobby (1965), Free Striptease with Drum and Bugle Corps Accompaniment (1966), The Great Building Crack-Up (1967), Mr. Jesus Christ Contest (1972), Turd Forest (1972), and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Robert Delford Brown (1930-2009) was a performance artist in New York, New York. Brown was a participant in events as-art, happenings, in New York, during the 1960s. He frequently performed in the persona of a religious leader and founder of his own religion, The First National Church of the Exquisite Panic, Inc.


Donated 2010 and 2018 by Lynda Roscoe Hartigan who purchased the collection at auction.