‘Law & Order’ Creator Dick Wolf Has Donated More Than 200 Artworks to the Met

The producer's gift spans works from the Renaissance to Baroque eras.

Botticelli and studio, Madonna and Child with the Young Baptist, Saint Francis receiving the Stigmata in the Distance (ca. 1480s). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It must be Christmas at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The New York institution has just been promised a gift of more than 200 works by the creator of TV series Law & Order, Dick Wolf. 

Collectively known as the Dick Wolf Collection, the donation spans Renaissance to Baroque art created by artists including Artemisia Gentileschi, Botticelli, and Vincent van Gogh. The works are bound for the museum’s European Paintings, European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, and Drawings and Prints departments. 

As part of his gift, Wolf will endow two of the museum’s galleries—500 and 503—which will be renamed the Dick Wolf Galleries. In them, pieces from the California-based producer’s collection will be on view alongside 15th- and 16th-century treasures from the Met’s own holdings. 

“With its dazzling range of European paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and works on paper, the Dick Wolf Collection represents one of the most meaningful gifts to the Met in recent memory, truly transforming and adding new dimensions to the museum’s holdings,” said Max Hollein, the museum’s CEO, in a statement. “Furthermore, the substantial financial contribution will provide critical support for the Met’s collection displays and scholarly pursuits.” 

Dick Wolf. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wolf is best known for his work as the creator, writer, and producer behind the award-winning procedural Law & Order, which ran from 1990 to 2010 and has led to numerous spin-offs, including Law & Order: SVU. At the same time, Wolf has amassed quite the collection of art—an interest kindled by his visits to the Met from a young age. “From the time I was eight years old, I would stop at The Met on my way home from school, two to three times a month, and wander the galleries. It was a simpler time, there was no admission, you could walk in off the street,” he recalled in a statement. 

Vincent van Gogh, Beach at Scheveningen in Calm Weather (1882). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

His collection grew alongside his passion for Renaissance-era art and sculpture. It featured paintings by Bronzino as much as drawings by Guercino and works by Giovanni Battista and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo.  

The collection, Hollein said, reflects Wolf’s “excellent connoisseurship and enduring dedication to the diverse artistic media of the periods.” Don Bacigalupi, art advisor for the Dick Wolf Collection, added that the “superb collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, furniture, and decorative arts… speaks eloquently of the times and places in which they were made.” 

Orazio Gentileschi, Madonna and Child (ca. 1620). Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One of the masterpieces from Wolf’s collection, Orazio Gentileschi’s Madonna and Child (ca. 1620), is now on view at the Met’s European Paintings gallery. The museum plans to install more works from the donation over the coming years. 

“I’m sure most collectors would agree that seeing your art displayed in the world’s greatest museum is an honor,” Wolf added. “This is my holiday gift to the museum, the people of New York, and the city where I first encountered the power and beauty of great art.” 


More Trending Stories:  

Artists to Watch This Month: 10 Solo Gallery Exhibitions to See In New York Before the End of the Year 

Art Dealers Christina and Emmanuel Di Donna on Their Special Holiday Rituals 

Stefanie Heinze Paints Richly Ambiguous Worlds. Collectors Are Obsessed 

Inspector Schachter Uncovers Allegations Regarding the Latest Art World Scandal—And It’s a Doozy 

Archaeologists Call Foul on the Purported Discovery of a 27,000-Year-Old Pyramid 

The Sprawling Legal Dispute Between Yves Bouvier and Dmitry Rybolovlev Is Finally Over 

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.