Archival Update

At 500 Capp Street, we preserve all facets of David Ireland’s legacy, even the problematic aspects of his past. We acknowledge that the objects displayed in Ireland’s dining room, including the taxidermied animals and cultural artifacts acquired during  his time as a safari  guide in East Africa, tie him to extractive colonial histories and practices rooted in imperial fascination and exploitation. We also acknowledge how the objects have made the space uncomfortable for the museum’s staff, visitors, and collaborating artists. 

Under our current leadership, we choose to address these issues head on rather than gloss over or hide this layer of Ireland’s life from public view. Through meaningful programming  we will explore how these troublesome histories still resonate in our lives today. In collaboration with our team, researchers, and scholars, we will be hosting a series of programming that asks: how does colonization and the exploitation of people and resources shape the trail of object collection? And, what steps can we take to actively decolonize the root of exhibition-making within a museum context? We look forward to your continued support as we begin sharing this important work-in-progress with you over the coming year.

Photo by Henrik Kam

Twilight Tour With Live Accordion Performance  by Jonathan Kipp

Date: April 20, 2023 (Thursday) 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Tickets: $25


Come and experience the changes twilight brings to the amber walls of David Ireland’s house as you enjoy a performance by accomplished accordionist, musician, and accordion repairman Jonathan Kipp. The evening is part of Ann Hamilton’s project, Process + Place: here • there • then • now, currently on view at two sites: Headlands Center for the Arts and 500 Capp Street. Prior to Ireland’s purchase of 500 Capp Street, the House was the home and repair shop of Paul Greub, a Swiss accordion maker. In her project, Hamilton conjures the early history of 500 Capp Street and connects Ireland’s spaces across time and distance as the day fades to twilight. The evening event is a rare opportunity to experience the convergence of Hamilton’s research and Kipp’s response to it in a live performance.

More information on Ann Hamilton’s project, Process + Place: here  there  then  now can be found here.

About Jonathan Kipp:

Jonathan Kipp is a percussionist, accordionist, teacher, and accordion repairman based in San Francisco. He plays a wide variety of styles, from classical to folk, acoustic to electronic, jazz to pop to avant garde. These days you can find him accompanying the Turkish bands Nakarat and Metanastys.

Youth Education Program


Designed by 500 Capp Street Artist Guides with educator Amy Berk, the youth education curriculum fosters hands-on experiences and introduces concepts in very accessible terms. Expanding on the artist-driven initiatives of 500 Capp Street, teaching artists are invited to create their own curriculum for workshops built around experimentation, interpretation, and community. The curriculum is creative, accessible, off-beat, and uniquely positioned as an exploration of the work of David Ireland and conceptual art in general. Participatory in nature, educational workshops embrace everyone having the capacity to be an artist, a core philosophy of David Ireland.

David Ireland did not take himself too seriously, and his sense of humor provides a crucial access point for young artists to learn that art can be a portal to what’s possible and imaginable. The curriculum itself is intended as an evolving document built around core concepts and signature lesson plans. For something as abstract as conceptual art, performance, and interpretation, our workshops by design result in a concrete expression, object, experience, and memory. 


Beginning in 2022, 500 Capp Street issues open calls to local high school students each year to apply for summer internship opportunities. Four to five week long internships for 2-3 selected interns will be composed of three 4-hour shifts per week, working at the David Ireland House under the guidance of the art and education staff. Summer internships will culminate in an event open to the public where, in the collaborative, artist-driven spirit of 500 Capp Street, interns are invited to select roles for themselves and help develop the event. 

Artists in Conversation: Amy Berk and Georgia Horgan

High School Summer Internship Program

Beginning in 2022, 500 Capp Street issues open calls to local high school students each year to apply for summer internship opportunities. Four to five week long internships for 2-3 selected interns will be composed of three 4-hour shifts per week, working at the David Ireland House under the guidance of the art and education staff. Summer internships will culminate in an event open to the public where, in the collaborative, artist-driven spirit of 500 Capp Street, interns are invited to select roles for themselves and help develop the event. 

Education Tours


Schedule your next class field trip at The David Ireland House – a living sculpture! Facilitated by our Artist-Educators at the David Ireland House, private youth education tours expose students to the art of the everyday and the conceptual framework and clever interventions of David Ireland. With an emphasis on the humor, playfulness, and experimentation of finding art anywhere and everywhere, youth tours center on making conceptual art accessible to young people. Students will learn a brief history of 500 Capp Street and David Ireland before touring the House and current exhibitions. Tours take about an hour and a half, opening up to discussion and questions with students, teachers, and facilitators. All ages, including parents, are welcome to join your group for the tour. For more information or to schedule your class tour, contact


We also offer private tours serving undergraduate and graduate classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Students are guided through the House, introduced to current exhibitions, and have the opportunity to explore the Paule Anglim Archive Room in addition to learning about the history of the House and the work of David Ireland. Led by artist guides, curator of exhibitions and programs, and our archivist, students will experience a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of 500 Capp Street. For more information or to schedule your class tour, contact


Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club

San Francisco Art Institute’s City Studios Youth Program

The Berkeley School, K-8 Students

SF Parks and Recreation’s Mission Arts Center

FAMSF Internship Program

41 Ross Youth Artist Residency Program, High School Students

Marin Country Day School, K-8 Students

Omnes Education

Architectural Association, School of Architecture

California College of the Arts, Architecture

California College of the Arts, Fine Arts

California College of the Arts, Design

California College of the Arts, Humanities

University of San Francisco, Art History and Museum Studies 

University of San Francisco, Art Studies 

San Francisco State University, Art 

San Francisco State University, Studio Art

Stanford University, Undergraduate Arts Intensive

Artists in Conversation: Amy Berk and Georgia Horgan.

The week starting March 28th saw the inaugural Spring Break Intensive for youth aged 13-18 at the David Ireland House. In this interview, participating artist Georgia Horgan talks to SFAI City Studio Director Amy Berk about why 500 Capp Street is such a rich resource for youth and artists alike.

Amy Berk pictured here with teens in the dining room of the house. Image courtesy of Christian Casillas.

Georgia Horgan: From your perspective as an educator, why do a program aimed at teenagers at the David Ireland House?

Amy Berk: Thank you for that question Georgia!

GH: It’s big isn’t it…

AB: It is a big question, but it’s one I feel really passionate about. When I walked into that house for the first time I thought it was magical; it offers a counterpoint to the rigidity that many teens and tweens experience at school or in day-to-day life. They often exist in environments where there is a right answer or a wrong answer. There’s no answer in the house. It’s extraordinary in its ordinariness and that’s why it offers a portal to really think about what art can be.

GH: And I think this offers a path to question everything, right?

AB: Absolutely. It opens up a path to criticality in general, giving them the tools to question the status quo. It’s not necessarily about art-making, it’s about thinking differently. And that’s my whole ethos with City Studio. I’m not out to make artists. I want thinkers.

GH: I completely agree. My own practice is based on how we know things, how we learn, the methods through which this is achieved, and how, in turn, this impacts society. Art offers new approaches to these questions; from its very foundation in language to how we interpret popular culture or apply teaching methods. I think the house is an amazing resource to prompt these questions. This leads me to ask: why do you think David Ireland offers this gateway versus any of his contemporaries in the Conceptual art movement?

AB: I think it’s the house itself. It’s a really intimate space, a space that everyone can connect to. Everybody has a home, or we hope so, at least. This extraordinary ordinariness makes the house very approachable. A lot of Conceptual art is pretty austere whereas, David Ireland’s work has a warmth. Even literally speaking, the golden color of the walls has warmth in a way that embraces you rather than pushes you away. There is often something tomb-like about the environment other Conceptual practices are shown in; the David Ireland House is almost womb-like.

GH: Right! I think that’s a really interesting observation. Many of the artworks from this era are presented in institutional settings on epic scales. They’re edifices, whereas the domesticity of David Ireland is part of what makes his work so approachable. I think this is the case from multiple perspectives. From my own observation of youth education projects, there tends to be a bit of a pervasive attitude that only certain types of art practice lend themselves to education programs. I think we’ve established that David Ireland’s practice indeed does, but it’s so multilayered that there are many ways to enter the work. I think this creates a nice opportunity for artists that maybe aren’t such obvious choices for youth projects to come in and do something, using David Ireland’s work as a lens.

AB: I love that! And I know that the David Ireland team has worked really hard to facilitate that. David Ireland is very multifaceted, so you can access his work in a lot of different ways, be it through different media, perspectives, or capacities. It’s a challenge for artists and educators to create workshops that represent their work and David Ireland’s, kind of honoring him rather than copying him. I think that’s when teens can see that they’re being given the agency to form their own interpretations, as opposed to being told what’s right or wrong.

GH: Right, and ultimately, I think this further exposes them to different ways of making art, to different ways of thinking, encouraging this criticality that we already identified as key. 

AB: Exactly. It’s empowering them to think differently.

GH: Before we wrap up, anything else you’d like to add?

AB: Yes – it was really great to see institutional support, not just from the David Ireland House, but from the new partner Park and Rec. It’s a pretty out-there collaboration from a city department, so it’s amazing to have them on board. It bodes well for the future of San Francisco, at least in regards to art education.

Image courtesy of Stephanie Dolores Rose

Amy Berk is an artist and educator based in San Francisco. She is the Director of City Studio, SFAI’s program to engage underserved youth in their own neighborhoods through art classes that are both rigorous and joyous.

Georgia Horgan is a British artist based in Mexico City. She makes videos, textiles, and texts that explore feminist methods of writing history.