Erving Wolf

atodd's picture

Erving Wolf
d. February 6, 2018

Erving Wolf, oil and gas pioneer, art collector, lover of the West, died peacefully on February 6th at his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Erving was born in Kimball, Nebraska in 1926, and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming where his father, Leon, was the tailor on the Francis E. Warren Air Force Base. He served as an officer in the Navy while stationed in Guam during World War II. He received his Bachelor degrees from Northwestern University and Notre Dame, and earned his law degree from Northwestern University. He prac- ticed law in Cheyenne but was soon
drawn to the oil and gas industry. In 1951, the same year he married Joyce Mandel, he founded the Wolf Land Company, which later became the Inexco Oil Company. Under Erving’s leadership, Inexco discovered Wyoming’s 200-million-barrel Hilight Oil Field and its four- trillion-cubic-foot Madden Gas Field, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the United States, as well as the Key Lake Uranium Mine in Saskatchewan, Canada, which once produced 15 percent of the world’s uranium.
Wolf and his wife assembled a singular collection of art whose breadth spans 18th and 19th American paint- ings, drawings, sculpture, and furniture, as well as Chinese porcelains. In 1980, the couple endowed The Erving and Joyce Wolf Gallery at New York’s Metropolitan Museum for special exhibitions of American art. In 2001, the museum made him an hon- orary trustee. The couple also loaned and gifted sculp- ture to the Denver Art Museum and to the National Gallery of Art, where they did so in honor of their late daughter, Diane Wolf. With his brothers, Wolf donated the Leon and Dora Wolf Law Building at the University of Colorado School of Law, in honor of their parents.
Erving wore a different colored shirt with a different colored sweater every day. At 91, his powder white hair and tan face emphasized his bold jawline and cheek- bones. Erving appreciated beauty in its many forms and derived the most joy from sharing what he found beauti- ful with those he loved. Erving took his children and grandchildren to hunt for treasures in the flea market on 26th Street but, in his eyes, no man- made object com- pared to the beauty of nature. He felt most at peace sit- ting on the porch of his house on his ranch in Ridgway, Colorado, gazing upon the majestic Rockies, with a cup of black coffee and six newspapers in hand. When his health prohibited him from traveling west, he was often found in Central Park enjoying its beauty. His family will remember him for the depth of his gratitude and gen- erosity.
He is survived by Joy, his wife of 66 years; his sons Daniel and Mathew and their wives Maya and Ann; his grandchildren India, Rachel, Daisy, Henry, and Benjamin; and brother, Marvin. He was preceded in death by his daughter Diane and his brother Melvin.
Interment will be private and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date in New York. Donations in his memory may be sent to:
Dr. Martin Kahn Endowment

NYU Langone Medical Center

Attention: Donna Marino

1 Park Avenue, 5th Floor

New York, New York 10016