Lloyd William Wulf Biography

Lloyd William Wulf




Known for his late 1930's work on the California Federal Art Project in the San Francisco area, Lloyd William Wulf also matured as an artist in his sojourn to Quito, Ecuador from c.1940 until 1964.  Born in Nauhawka, NE on December 2,1913, he was raised in Avoca, Nebraska, a farming community 28 miles SE of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Wulf attended the San Francisco School of Fine Arts in the early 1930's where he met and married Oregonian, Helen Purdy.

Lloyd William Wulf's paintings, drawings, and prints on human characters in spatial settings, along with his burlesque clowns, and carnival settings characterize his Northern California work.  Wulf exhibited at the M.H. deYoung Museum in 1939, and is in their "Legion of Honor" collection.  Wulf's California Federal Art Project-WPA prints are listed in the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco collection.

Winning the SFAA and San Francisco Museum Prailla Prize in 1937, Lloyd and Helen Wulf would normally have studied art in Europe, but owing to the war clouds of WW2, chose Quito, Ecudor in the early 1940's where he created varied celebrations of native Ecuadorian dancers, warriors, shamman, and chieftains.   Numerous character studies of local people also populate his work and his focus most often was on human ritual, facial expression, and imbued with emotional empathy.  Wulf taught and worked in Quito, and was involved in many artisitic collaborations. Wulf was asked to mount a major exhibition of his work in Quito in 1959, receiving a national honorary arts medal of citation.

Helen Wulf worked for the American Embassy for many years in Quito, and rose in her position to a level of diplomatic service that involved mediation in border disputes with Peru. Some have suggested that Lloyd and Helen were recruited by American Intelligence to accept the Quito location for purposes of South American intelligence gathering and monitoring of German sympathies in the region.

In poor health, Lloyd Wulf returned to his native Nebraska in 1964, this time to Omaha, and died in November of 1965.