The papers of California conceptual artist and sculptor David Ireland measure 24.8 linear feet and 8.39 GB and date from circa 1910s to circa 2009, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960 to 2005. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, notes and notebooks, installation projects and exhibition files, teaching files, travel files, personal business records, printed and digital material and commercial recordings, photographic materials, artwork, and video and sound recordings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of California conceptual artist and sculptor David Ireland measure 24.8 linear feet and 8.39 GB and date from circa 1910s to circa 2009, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960 to 2005. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, notes and notebooks, installation projects and exhibition files, teaching files, travel files, personal business records, printed and digital material and commercial sound recordings, photographic materials, artwork, and video and sound recordings.
Biographical material includes awards and certificates, address books and appointment books, artist's statements, resumes, chronologies, student university materials, passports, and sound and video recordings of interviews with Ireland. Correspondence is with friends, peers, universities, galleries, and museums, including Jeffrey Grobart, Eleanor Coppola, Margie Lee, Marie-Louise Lienhard, Paul Marion, and Alta Tingle, among others. Notes and notebooks contain incoming phone messages, notes to self, regarding projects and ideas, as well as various other notes and plans.
Installation projects and exhibition files constitute the bulk of the collection and document David Ireland's extensive projects and exhibitions around the world. Files are found for his Capp Street house project and Pacific Enterprises project in San Francisco; Boott Mills project in Lowell, Massachusetts; IKEA Emeryville Public Art Project in Emeryville, California; and several Washington State Arts Commission and Western Washington University projects. Other exhibition and installation locations found within the files include the American Academy in Rome; Yerba Buena Arts Center in California; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in Australia; Helmhaus in Zurich, Switzerland; Arts Club of Chicago; SFMOMA; New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, among many others. The files contain a wide variety of materials, including sound and video recordings in various formats.
Teaching files document David Ireland's many roles as visiting artist, artist-in-residence, instructor, and conference and symposium panelist at the California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Stanford University Department of Art, among others. Travel files document Ireland's trips abroad, both independent of and as a result of installation and project obligations.
Personal business records are comprised of financial materials and documentation relating to Ireland's two early South African import and safari businesses as well grants and project proposals, various loan agreements, representation through Gallery Paule Anglim, property sales and tax documentation, inventory materials, and various other business materials. Also found within the collection are printed material and four commercial sound recordings. Photographs are of the artist, friends and family, Ireland's Oakland studio, and works of art. There is artwork by Ireland, including sketches, drawings, and prints, and a few pieces of artwork by other artists. In addition to sound and video recordings arranged in other series, there is one video recording and six sound cassettes that are either unidentified or have no additional context within the collection.
This collection is arranged as 11 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950-circa 2009 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1937-circa 2008 (4 linear feet; Boxes 2-6)
Series 3: Notes and Notebooks, circa 1965-circa 2008 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
Series 4: Installation Projects and Exhibition Files, circa 1960s-circa 2009 (11.6 linear feet; Boxes 7-18, OV26, OV27, 7.84 GB; ER01-ER15)
Series 5: Teaching Files, 1977-1998 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 18-19)
Series 6: Travel Files, circa 1950s-circa 1994 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 19-20)
Series 7: Personal Business Records, circa 1965-circa 2008 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 20-21)
Series 8: Printed Material and Commercial Recordings, 1932-circa 2009 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 21-23, 0.553 GB; ER16)
Series 9: Photographic Materials, circa 1910s-circa 2005 (1 linear foot; Boxes 23-24)
Series 10: Artwork, circa 1965-circa 2003 (0.2 linear feet; Box 24)
Series 11: Video and Sound Recordings, circa 1965-circa 1990s (0.4 linear feet; Box 25)
Biographical / Historical:
David Ireland (1930-2009) was a conceptual artist and sculptor who worked in San Francisco, California.
Ireland was born in Bellingham, Washington and attended Western Washington University. In 1953, he received a degree in industrial design and printmaking from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland. He then served two years in the U. S. Army in Missouri, returning to live and work in Bellingham. For several years, Bellingham served as his launch point for extensive travels in Europe and Africa.
In the late 1950s, Ireland founded Hunter Africa, an artifacts import business. He moved the business to San Francisco in 1965 and also began a second business leading safaris in Africa. He married Bellingham native Joanne Westford and had two children, Ian Ireland and Shaughn Niland; they divorced in 1970.
Ireland attended the San Francisco Art Institute and received a graduate degree in 1974. There, he met other Bay Area artists involved in the conceptual movement there, including Tom Marioni, Paul Kos, Howard Fried, and Terry Fox.
Much of Ireland's artwork of the 1980s and 1990s centered on the transformation of his home at 500 Capp Street in San Francisco, where he dramatically physically and conceptually transformed the interior and exterior structure into a mix of architectural sculpture and environmental art piece. He bought a second home in 1979 to transform, and, in the 1980s, completed a renovation of the main building at the Headlands Center for Arts in Sausalito with artist Mark Thompson.
David Ireland's work has been presented in more than forty solo exhibitions at venues that included the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.; The Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. He created major public projects and private commissions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D. C., and other cities. His work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, and University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, among others.
The David Ireland papers were donated in 2010 by the David Ireland Estate through Jock Reynolds, Special Trustee, The David Ireland Revocable Trust.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.