Julius Rosenthal Wolf

Julius Rosenthal Wolf (1929–1976)[1] was an American casting director, producer, theatrical agent,[1] art collector, art dealer, and the vice president of General Amusement Corporation, then the second largest talent management agency in the world.[2][3]

Julius Rosenthal Wolf
Alma materDartmouth College
OccupationCasting director, producer, theatrical agent, art dealer
RelativesIan Hornak, (life partner); Eric Ian Spoutz, (nephew).

Early life, family, education

Wolf was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1929 to Flora Therese Rosenthal Wolf and Jack M. Wolf, president of M. H. Shiman and Co. Inc., a jewelry manufacturer in Cincinnati and New York City.[4][2] He graduated from Walnut Hills High School and later with a major in English from Dartmouth College in 1951 where served as the editor of the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, and the college's yearbook, "The Aegis."[2]


In the autumn of 1951, Wolf moved to New York City. From 1951 to 1962, he worked in publishing, public relations, and advertising. During that time he was also the assistant director of Edith Halpert's Downtown Gallery in New York City where he developed relationships with many American Modernist masters that were represented by the gallery.[3][2]

From 1962 to 1976, Wolf served various capacities with the second largest talent agency in the world, General Artists Corporation,[5] ultimately becoming the agency's vice president. During his time with GAC, he became known as an early champion of African American talent in the film and theater industries. He also cast actress Susan Sarandon in one of her earliest made for television movies, F. Scott Fitzgerald and 'The Last of the Belles'.[1][2]

Throughout his career, Wolf was also a consultant for American Broadcast Company, and Public Broadcasting Service for which he cast The Adams Chronicles, Hogan's Goat, and June Moon.[1][2]


Wolf died of a heart attack at his home on Park Avenue in New York City's Upper East Side on June 11, 1976. John G. Heimann, Comptroller of the Currency under United States President, Jimmy Carter served as the executor of Wolf's estate.[2]

Personal life

Wolf was openly homosexual and his life partner from 1970-1976 (the time of Wolf's death) was founding photorealist artist, Ian Hornak.[6][7] Together, Wolf and Hornak lived at their homes in New York City's Upper East Side and at their weekend home in East Hampton, New York where Hornak continued to live until his own death in 2002.[8]

Art collection

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Wolf dedicated himself to the collection of American Modernist and African American art, which he had developed a professional knowledge of during his time as assistant director of The Downtown Gallery. After entering into a relationship with Ian Hornak, Hornak introduced Wolf to the contemporary art scene in New York City and educated him on the current trends in contemporary art. Together, Wolf and Hornak assembled a formidable collection of artwork and upon Wolf's death in 1976, per Wolf and Hornak's wishes, John G. Heimann delivered a bequeath of the 95 artwork collection to The Hood Museum of Art and The Hopkins Center for the Arts at Wolf's alma mater Dartmouth College. Among the artists whose works are in the collection are David Burliuk, Willard Metcalf, Louis Eilshemius, Arthur Dove, John Marin, Philip Evergood, Marc Chagall, Ben Shahn, Pat Steir, José Luis Cuevas, Philomé Obin, Larry Rivers, Paul Jenkins, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Motherwell, Ellsworth Kelly, Leonard Baskin, Robert Indiana, Lee Bontecou, Ad Reinhardt, Jack Youngerman, Stuart Davis, Larry Poons, Lowell Nesbitt, Jacob Lawrence, Marisol, Joe Brainard and Fairfield Porter. The collection also houses a small collection of intimate paintings and drawings by Ian Hornak that Hornak gifted to Wolf including a large portrait of Wolf, titled "Jay Wolf" that Dartmouth College often uses to display Wolf's likeness.[7] The overall collection of artwork which has been dubbed "The Jay Wolf Bequest of Contemporary Art" by the college was exhibited at the Beaumont-May Gallery in The Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, June 24-August 28, 1977 and is recognized as the most significant bequest of artwork to Dartmouth College during the 1970s.[3][2]


  1. "Jay Wolf, 47, Producer, Casting Director and Agent," New York Times, June 14, 1976
  2. Papers of Jay Wolf, Circa 1900 - 2009," Dartmouth College Rauner Special Collections Library
  3. "Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969," Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Art
  4. "Flora Therese Rosenthal Wolf," The Cincinnati Enquirer, Page 22, March 12, 1968
  5. http://www.dartmouth.org/classes/51/documents/ObituaryWolf-Julius.PDF
  6. Patsy Southgate, "Ian Hornak: Creating An Art Apart," East Hampton Star, Nov. 20, 1997
  7. http://hoodmuseum.dartmouth.edu/objects/p.976.183
  8. Stephen Bennett Phillips, "Ian Hornak Transparent Barricades," exhibition catalogue, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Fine Art Program, Washington D.C., 2012