Dr. Alfred Wolff (1866–1959) was a collector of important modern works of art, a long year bank manager and a member of the board of directors at Deutsche Bank. At the same time he was one of the most important clients and supporters of the “universal artist” Henry van de Velde (1863–1957), commissioning him to furnish three apartments from 1904 to 1911. While Wolff was providing the Belgian with additional commissions, van de Velde advised him on building up his collection.
A vivid, personal picture of Wolff and the social environment to which he was associated can be gleaned from an astonishing wealth of traditional sources. When dealing with artists and their extended circles – acquaintanceships often initiated by van de Velde – Wolff showed himself to be an ambitious collector and a reliable supporter, but also a liberal pragmatist and a levelheaded observer. The book, designed for book lovers, elucidates the life and career of the banker and documents van de Velde’s exclusive interior design and furnishings for the Wolffs. Showpieces in the private collection will be introduced, including works by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Bonnard, Paul Signac, Maurice Denis, Aristide Maillol, Henri Edmond Cross, and other representatives of early Modernism.