By NANCY KEATES .20 November 2009. The Wall Street Journal
Art dealer Ernie Wolfe imports his distinctive style to a Los Angeles neighborhood
Ernie Wolfe has an unruly head of curly white hair, a matching beard, and wears only khaki shorts and camouflage. He lives in a rusty steel house packed with old objects like wooden stools and ladders.
But the shorts are custom-made in Ghana and the camouflage is always neatly pressed, even for visits to the Santa Monica farmer’s market. “It isn’t like this is some weird Halloween costume,” said Mr. Wolfe, an African-art dealer and gallery owner. “This is who I am.” The objects in Mr. Wolfe’s new house, designed by noted architect Steven Ehrlich and completed earlier this year, are museum-quality finds from around the globe.
On a recent Sunday, guests arriving for a cocktail party entered Mr. Wolfe’s home, a 3,400-square-foot hulking, weathered, brownish building modeled in part after a Quonset hut—a corrugated metal structure with a curved roof. It looms above the bungalows and flat-roofed steel-and-glass modern structures in this diverse neighborhood sandwiched between Santa Monica and Century City.