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Nancy and David Wolf present major gift of Contemporary craft to the Cincinnati Art Museum
Ed Moulthrop, Untitled, 1997, ashleaf maple, The Nancy and David Wolf Collection, The Cincinnati Art Museum, L24.2008:43, © The Estate of Ed Moulthrop

CINCINNATI, OH.- The Cincinnati Art Museum announced that collectors Nancy and David Wolf have gifted 264 works from their nationally recognized collection of contemporary craft to the Art Museum. The remainder of their collection is a promised bequest. This major donation will establish the Art Museum as a center for the exhibition, study and research of contemporary craft.

The Wolfs’ gift includes works by the foremost artists working in contemporary craft, including Dale Chihuly, Lino Taglapietra, Jaroslava Brychtová and Stanislav Libenský in glass; Philip Moulthrop, Rude Osolnik, David Ellsworth and Michelle Holzapfel in wood; and Rudy Autio and Akio Takamori in ceramics. The Wolfs have also donated their extensive library to the Art Museum’s Mary R. Schiff Library, and established an endowment to preserve and expand the collection.

Nancy and David Wolf began collecting contemporary craft thirty-five years ago. In March 2006, Art and Antiques Magazine named them among America’s top one hundred collectors. Longtime supporters of the Art Museum, the Wolfs have previously donated sixteen pieces of contemporary glass to the collections and contributed funds toward the acquisition of Dale Chihuly’s Rio Delle Torreselle Chandelier (1996), which is permanently on view in the Art Museum’s lobby.

“We wanted the collection to remain intact, and Cincinnati has always been my home, and Nancy’s home for the majority of her life,” said David Wolf. “So, it makes sense for the collection to remain in Cincinnati. Cincinnati has been good to us, and we feel that this is a way to add our legacy, and in some way make Cincinnati a better place. I hope that our gift will act as a catalyst to keep contemporary craft in the forefront.”

“Throughout its 130-year history, the Art Museum has maintained a strong commitment to collect and showcase contemporary craft,” said Director Aaron Betsky. “We are very grateful to the Wolfs for this extraordinary gift, which will allow us to share and preserve these innovative works for current and future generations.”

“This incredible gift comes at an especially significant time”, notes Amy Dehan, Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. “Along with extraordinary work in wood and ceramics comes a spectacular collection of glass, the Wolf’s first focus as collectors. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the American Studio Glass Movement, instigated at the legendary Toledo Museum of Art workshops in 1962 by Harvey K. Littleton and Dominick Labino.” Works by both founding fathers are part of the Wolf’s gift.

A selection of twenty-five works from The Nancy and David Wolf Collection are currently on view at the Art Museum in The Collection: 6000 Years. The full-color catalogue Outside the Ordinary: Glass, Ceramics and Wood from the Wolf Collection is available for purchase in Art Museum Shop.

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