Thank you to our founder Carlie Wilmans
April 28, 202
13 years ago, Carlie Wilmans purchased The David Ireland House at 500 Capp Street with a bold vision to create a venue for the preservation and study of the artist’s work. An important art collector, patron, and granddaughter of late Bay Area philanthropist Phyllis C. Wattis, Wilmans established the 500 Capp Street Foundation, becoming its founder, and, together with prominent art patron Ann Hatch and myself, both longtime friends and associates of Ireland’s, set about the complex task of the House’s restoration and rebirth as San Francisco’s first historic artist’s home. Since that time, the House has welcomed thousands of visitors through its tours, exhibitions, and programs; offered residency to numerous contemporary artists; employed a cadre of bright, young artists as its guides; and has firmly established itself as a vital catalyst for artistic dialogue.
Today, we express our profound gratitude to Wilmans as she steps down from the Board of Trustees after so many years of dedicated support and leadership. Board succession has been an important discussion for several years as our founding group’s service has extended past a decade. Two new members, Jane Reed and Abby Chen, bring new perspectives and ideas to our collective work. We are excited for the future of the organization—a future that Wilmans has worked tirelessly to secure.
It took a great leap of faith 13 years ago to embark on this project. We are forever grateful to Wilmans for the persistence of her vision, her generous support, and her long service to help preserve one of San Francisco’s most unique and vibrant artistic assets and to ensure that it will long endure with the support of many others.
I share with you some parting words from Wilmans’ letter to the Board yesterday. She wrote, “From the first time I stepped into 500 Capp Street to this day, my life has been enriched and my perceptions have been changed. I will be forever grateful for the experience. It has been an honor to give this gift to the art community.”
Founding Trustee & Chairman of the Board