September 1, 2022

Broom Collection with Boom

David Ireland, Broom Collection with Boom, 1978/1988. Photograph by Henrik Kam

About David Ireland’s Broom Collection with Boom

Broom Collection with Boom, 1978/1988, is one of the most recognized assemblage and sculptural works by David Ireland. The work was a centerpiece at 500 Capp Street for nearly three decades before its acquisition by SFMOMA in 2007. It is composed of old salvaged brooms left behind by the House’s former owner, accordion maker Paul Greub. These are wired together into a ring and arranged in a clock formation. The brooms stand on their bristles and are arrayed from the least to most worn in a counterbalance, stabilized by a boom. Ireland considered this work a social sculpture because he felt that the brooms were a social instrument of Greub’s day to day existence.