The Metropolitan Museum of Art Announces Transformative Holiday Gift of Over 200 Superlative Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, and More from Dick Wolf
Wolf, an Emmy-winning producer and avid collector, is providing significant financial support to The Met with the endowment of the Dick Wolf Galleries. The two major galleries will house works from his exceptional collection of European paintings, sculpture, drawings, furniture, and works of decorative art, including rare masterpieces by artists from Botticelli to Vincent van Gogh
(New York, December 20, 2023)—Just in time for the holidays, The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today the signing of a transformative gift agreement that will bring more than 200 works of Renaissance and Baroque art to the Museum from the Dick Wolf Collection. Assembled over many years by the California-based collector, these works will enrich the holdings of three curatorial departments (European Paintings, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and Drawings and Prints), making this one of the landmark promised gifts to The Met of the last half century.
Inspired by many visits to The Met early in his life, Dick Wolf sought out works that reflect his passion for art in all media created from the 15th to the 18th century as well as select more-modern works. The result is a collection of remarkable breadth and depth, from paintings by Bronzino, Artemisia and Orazio Gentileschi, and Vincent van Gogh; to deep holdings of Italian drawings beginning with late 15th-century works and culminating in exceptional works by 17th-century Bolognese artist Guercino, and the 18th-century Venetians, Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo; to sculpture and decorative arts of the highest quality.
“With its dazzling range of European paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper, the Dick Wolf Collection represents one of the most meaningful gifts to The Met in recent memory, truly transforming and adding new dimensions to the Museum’s holdings,” said Max Hollein, The Met’s Marina Kellen French Director and Chief Executive Officer. “From works by the best-known and most beloved artists of the Renaissance and Baroque eras, to those who are lesser known but of deep historical importance, the collection reflects Dick Wolf’s excellent connoisseurship and enduring dedication to the diverse artistic media of the periods. Furthermore, the substantial financial contribution will provide critical support for The Met’s collection displays and scholarly pursuits. We are profoundly grateful for his generosity, which will impact The Met’s millions of visitors for many years to come.”
In addition to the artworks in this promised gift, Mr. Wolf will endow two galleries in the Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts—the Quattrocento and Cinquecento Galleries (Galleries 500 and 503), to be named the Dick Wolf Galleries. The endowment presents a significant opportunity to rethink these spaces and enrich the display of works on view, especially in combination with highlights from the Dick Wolf Collection, which complement The Met’s renowned collection of 15th- and 16th-century sculpture and objects.
Wolf said, “From the time I was eight years old, I would stop at The Met on my way home from school, two to three times a month, and wander the galleries. It was a simpler time, there was no admission, you could walk in off the street. I’m sure most collectors would agree that seeing your art displayed in the world’s greatest museum is an honor. This is my holiday gift to the Museum, the people of New York, and the city where I first encountered the power and beauty of great art.”
Don Bacigalupi, art advisor for the Dick Wolf Collection, added, “Dick Wolf is the ideal collector and philanthropist. He has assembled—with intelligence and a great eye—a superb collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, furniture, and decorative arts that speaks eloquently of the times and places in which they were made. And his exemplary commitment to sharing his collection publicly speaks to his generosity and understanding of the power of art to inspire, educate, and enlighten.”
The Met plans to present an installation of selected works from the gift, with an emphasis on a group of drawings, in the coming years. A masterpiece by the well-known painter Orazio Gentileschi, Madonna and Child (ca. 1620), is now on view in the recently reopened galleries for European Paintings from 1300 to 1800.
Wolf is one of the most successful producers in the history of television, as creator of the two longest-running live-action scripted series (Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order), which are among the 10 current broadcast series produced by his company, Wolf Entertainment. He has won two Emmys (for Law & Order and the HBO film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), a Grammy Award (for The Doors documentary When You’re Strange), and countless other accolades. His company also produced the Oscar-winning documentary Twin Towers.