Arizona couple’s art collection coming to auction

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 Jack and Martha Wolff.

Jack and Martha Wolff.

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Jack and Martha Wolff’s home in southern Scottsdale was like a museum, filled with floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall paintings.

Fine art from artists like Clyde Aspevig, Morgan Weistling, Sherrie McGraw and more covered nearly every inch of every wall in their home – including the bathroom.

“I had never seen a house hung like that,” said David Wilkinson, a former gallery director who became friends with the Wolffs more than three decades ago, often helping them acquire art for their collection. “Sometimes you couldn’t see the forest for the trees, but it was really fun to really take my time and look through. It was, in some ways, better than a museum.”

Now this impressive collection of a couple long respected for their support of the arts is available at auction Friday, Nov. 15. Featuring hundreds of Western, landscape and figurative paintings and bronzes by more than a dozen award-winning, world-renowned artists, the auction is a collaboration between EJ’s Auction & Appraisal and ArtzLine.com, a private art consultancy group owned by Wilkinson.

 White Flowers, Green Blanket by William Whitaker.

White Flowers, Green Blanket by William Whitaker.

Before their deaths – Martha in November 2014 and Jack in March 2018 – the Wolffs were well-regarded and respected within the Scottsdale arts community. “They were dedicated art advocates who made frequent visits to the local galleries, attended art receptions and collected many wonderful works of art,” Trudy Hays, Scottsdale Artists’ School executive director for research, said.

The couple collected art for more than 30 years, often becoming close friends with the artists they collected from. “Jack and Martha were kind, warm and loving people who truly wanted to support artists’ careers. In fact, in all the years I worked as a gallery director, they never asked for a discount when purchasing art … that’s how much they respected the artists and their work,” Wilkinson said, adding that the Wolffs had visitors come from across the country to view their art collection.

Erik Hoyer, CEO of EJ’s Auction & Appraisal, called the couple’s collection remarkable.

“This is an exceptional collection that includes Cowboy Artists of America painter Martin Grelle and outstanding artists, such as Cyrus Afsary, R.S. Riddick, Francois Koch, Scott Christensen, Glenna Goodacre, William Whitaker and many other highly-regarded artists,” Hoyer said.

 The Wolffs lived in a home surrounded by art.

The Wolffs lived in a home surrounded by art.

Dubbed the “Prominent Scottsdale Collector Art Auction,” a preview is set from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 13-14 at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal, 5880 W. Bell Road, Glendale. The auction house opens at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15 with bidding starting at 11 a.m. Online bidding is also available. For details, visit www.ejsauction.com or call 623-878-2003.

 Bittersweet by Sherrie McGraw.

Bittersweet by Sherrie McGraw.

 Ouzel Lake by Andrew Peters.

Ouzel Lake by Andrew Peters.

 Changing Costumes by Tom Browning.

Changing Costumes by Tom Browning.