“Suddenly, absolutely overnight, 25,000 of the rarest photographs ever taken were off the market,” said Weston Naef, who helped Mr. Wolf plan the acquisition for the Getty and later became its first curator of photography. “It would be like someone removing half the gold from Fort Knox.”
Along with steady work for private clients, he also acted as a matchmaker of sorts, especially for young and under-the-radar artists. In 1997 he introduced the organizers of the Whitney Museum Biennial to Aaron Rose, an immensely talented photographer who was so hermetic that he had never participated in a major show. (He died in February at 84.)
Mr. Wolf lent 10 daguerreotypes by the 19th-century French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey in 2019 for a show at the Met Museum, in front of which he had hawked photos out of a suitcase more than 40 years before.
He collected friends