Obituary: Joyce Wolf

Joyce Wolf
Joyce Wolf
Provided Photo

February 21, 1927 – August 7, 2022

WOLF—Joyce “Joy” (Mandel)
(1927 – 2022)
Joyce Wolf, who with her husband, Erving, amassed one of the most comprehensive private collections of American art, passed away August 7th, in New York City, surrounded by her family. She was 95. Joy was incisive in her commentary and known, around the world, for her exquisite taste.

In 1951, while visiting a cousin in Denver, Joy was introduced to Erving Wolf, from Cheyenne, Wyoming. Before returning to Brooklyn, Joy proposed to Erving and 17 days later, they were married and remained happily so for 66 years. Even though Joy was born and raised in Brooklyn, the West played an important part in her life. The day after their wedding, Joy and Erving returned to Cheyenne where they had all three children and then moved to Denver for eleven years. She was instrumental in building and overseeing the family’s cattle ranch in Ridgway, Colorado, where she spent almost every summer and where she will be laid to rest alongside Erving, their daughter, Diane and son, Daniel.

In the 1960’s, Joy and Erving began collecting American Indian rugs, pottery, and jewelry from trading posts in the Four Corners area. Over time, they broadened their collection to include American paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and furniture. Joy’s passion was early American furniture from the 1700s. Highlights from the collection may be seen @wolf_family_art_collection on Instagram.

The couple donated numerous works of American art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where Joy was a founding member of the William Cullen Bryant Fellows, and the couple gave The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery in the museum’s American Wing. Joy and Erving also gave American artworks to the Denver Art Museum. Many American bronzes from their collection are on loan to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Joy is survived by a son, Mathew; five grandchildren, Daisy, Henry, Benjamin, India, and Rachel; and daughters-in-law, Ann Wolf and Maya Lin. She is predeceased by her husband, Erving; daughter, Diane; and son, Daniel.

Details regarding a memorial service in the fall will be announced.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to Prostate Action, Inc.