David Collens Oral History

Video directed by Graham Mason © Storm King Art Center, 2018

David Collens joined Storm King in 1974 and became Director and Chief Curator in 1978 [1978-2021]. Continuing in this role, Collens has worked hands-on with artists to develop exhibitions, and has grown and shaped Storm King’s Collection through strategic acquisitions and site-specific commissions. In this multi-session interview, Collens recounts how relationships with artists were established, maintained, and strengthened over many years through such activities as studio visits, and describes ongoing discussions about creative approaches to outdoor sculpture conservation. Collens also describes the many changes he has witnessed at Storm King, including long-term landscaping projects, and increases in visitors under the leadership of current President, John Stern.
Interview Transcript
Interview with
David Collens
Conducted by
Sarah Dziedzic
Interview Date
January 23, 2018, July 18, 2018, July 31, 2018, August 13, 2018, August 22, 2018
Conditions governing access
The transcript is open for research use.
Conditions governing reproduction
Please contact Storm King Art Center Archives for conditions governing reproduction.

Artworks Discussed

Alexander Liberman

Adonai, 1970–71 (refabricated 2000)


Ursula von Rydingsvard

Luba, 2009–10

Storm King Wall

Andy Goldsworthy

Storm King Wall, 1997–98

Alice Aycock

Three-Fold Manifestation II, 1987 (refabricated 2006)

Exhibitions and programs discussed

Mark di Suvero at Governors Island

May 27 – September 25, 2011
May 26 – September 30, 2012

Ursula von Rydingsvard: Sculpture

May 18 – October 31, 1992

David Smith

May 12 – October 31, 1976