David Ireland House
Home Is Where the Art Is
When an artist’s home also is counted among his most significant works, balancing preservation, conservation, and accessibility becomes a delicate dance.
Preserve and Protect
Located in San Francisco’s Mission District, 500 Capp Street is an 1886 Italianate style home where conceptual artist David Ireland lived for 34 years. The house, purchased from an accordion maker in 1975, became his greatest multimedia work, with handcrafted, site-specific art installed throughout the building. When Ireland’s failing health put the house’s future in jeopardy, preserving the house as an artwork became the mission of Carlie Wilmans, an SFMOMA trustee who, with her art world-partners, grasped the home’s importance to Ireland’s and San Francisco’s legacy.