Skip to main content

David Ireland Papers, circa 1910s-circa 2009, bulk bulk 1960-2005

Ireland, David Kenneth, 1930-2009

Conceptual artist

Collection Information

Size: 24.8 Linear feet 8.39 Gigabytes

Summary: 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.

Biographical/Historical Note

David Ireland (1930-2009) was a conceptual artist and sculptor who worked in San Francisco, California.


The David Ireland papers were donated in 2010 by the David Ireland Estate through Jock Reynolds, Special Trustee, The David Ireland Revocable Trust.


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by The David Ireland Revocable Trust.