The Lewis K. and Elizabeth M. Land Collection

Six miniature figures, 300 BC–AD 300. Earthenware. Gift of Lewis K. and Elizabeth M. Land 2009.1.106.1–6

Lewis K. Land (1904–1987) was a remarkable collector and businessman. From his early career in India and throughout a lifetime of wide-ranging interests, collecting became, for Land, a means of solidifying his varied intellectual pursuits. Geology and mineralogy were his first collecting passions, but as years went by he became ever more fascinated with the objects and cultural histories of the ancient Americas. In 1975 the California Palace of the Legion of Honor exhibited and published parts of his collection in Fire, Earth, and Water: Sculpture from the Land Collection of Mesoamerican Art. Several years later the California Academy of Sciences exhibited and published other examples from his significant collection.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are most grateful to the generosity of the late Lewis Land; his wife, Elizabeth M. Land (1914–2008); and their daughters. Approximately 80 Land Collection objects are on view at any given time in the de Young’s permanent Art of the Americas galleries.