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

Biographical Note

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.