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In Memoriam : Daniel Wolf by Jean-Jacques Naudet


A heavy blow came at the start of the afternoon the day before yesterday.

“We regret to inform you of the death of Daniel Wolf last night in his Colorado home! ”

Daniel was a great photography dealer, but he was also and above all a friend.

Twice in recent years, he came to the rescue of the Eye of Photography and allowed us to continue in the most desperate times.

Daniel, I had known him since the mid-1970s.

His family had sent him to Paris to finish his art studies and explore France.

He was especially going to discover the French Photography of the 19th century of which he fell in love and remained so all his life.

From André Jammes to Roger Thérond, from Alain Paviot to the Texbrauns and to Gérard Lévy, all adopted this American seductive, funny, with a tremendous joie de vivre.

At the end of the decade, he returned to NY, opened his photo gallery on 57th Street, placed there as director, an astonishing young woman, Bonnie Benrubi, who would also disappear too soon!

If I remember correctly, the gallery’s first exhibition was on Bettina Rheims’ stuffed animals.

I have formidable memories of 1982. Lartigue was the star of the ICP International Center of Photography and the star of its annual party. Roger Therond took a table on this occasion and I was part and parcel for this evening. Daniel came to dinner with his partner of the time: Diane Keaton. Over dinner, he said to Roger, “Roger, I’m on a project, if it’s successful, I’ll come see you.”

The next day Roger and I have lunch with Sam Wagstaff: “Roger, the Getty wants to get into photography. If the Getty hires my colt, I have a plan to make them buy all the major current private collections: think about whether you would like to be part of it!”

4 months later I’m in NY again.

Sam: “My foal was not taken, the project fell through.”

Dinner the same evening with Daniel in his sublime canteen: Sant Ambroeus.

Daniel: “Jean-Jacques: The Getty is going to get into photography. Someone close to me has just been hired: Weston Naef. I’ll make him buy all the big private collections, tomorrow I’ll call Roger! ”

Sam and Daniel had the same idea and something even more extraordinary: Daniel would buy Sam’s collection without him having the slightest idea.

Daniel then gave up photography a little, met Maya Lin with whom he has two daughters.

In Paris, we met in his canteen, Le Récamier, whose soufflés he venerated.

In NY, he fell in love with a mind-blowing place, a former prison in Yonkers that you can get to by boat or car! There, he began to bring together all his collections.

The last time we spoke was ten days ago.

He was in his Colorado shelter with his family.

A big kiss to you Daniel!

Jean-Jacques Naudet

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