The design world’s dream publicist shares her print picks (plus a Q+A!)
Brand awareness might be her wheelhouse, but Nora Wolf’s always had an eye for art and design. Since founding her boutique public relations firm in 2011, Wolf has earned a reputation as a respected specialist in the design sphere, building out brilliant PR strategies for all kinds of companies under that umbrella—furniture, lighting, home decor, and more. We're lucky enough to count ourselves as past clients. Of course, her portfolio includes a broad range of clients, no doubt all drawn to Wolf PR for the firm’s agility, transparency, and grasp on superior storytelling.
This past year (during the pandemic!) she launched a new PR support shop for creative businesses, an alternative to the more traditional retainer services Wolf PR offers. Wolf Craft’s à la carte approach bakes the flexibility right in, which, for one thing, makes it possible for Wolf to work with more small businesses. As a small business owner herself (and bigtime believer in the benefits of small-but-mighty biz) that’s something Wolf’s especially excited about—and something our tiny team can certainly get behind.
Another thing we enthusiastically endorse? Taking a spin through Wolf's 5+5 below. Whether you’re in the market for a new addition to your art collection (in which case, may we just say: you can’t lose when you trust Wolf’s taste) or you wanna take a peek inside a PR-whiz’s brain, this one’s a winner.
— Team 20x200
5 Perfect Picks
1) Plate 431: American Flamingo by John James Audubon
I usually don't care about bird art. I think I was scarred by the mid-aughts mantra "put-a-bird-on-it." However this print is funky, cool, weird and I want it.
2) Studio View by Mary Finlayson
I loved this piece at first glance. It's got that hip aesthetic that I enjoy. (What can I say? I'm a millennial.) The colors are poppin' AND its a real ode to two things I love: plants and snugs on the couch with a good blanket. 10/10 would recommend this print. 11/10 would recommend *living in* this print.
3) Fly TWA: New York, a 20x200 Vintage Edition
Little known fact- when I was six I had an Eloise moment and lived in a hotel for a few months. Alas, this was not the Plaza and I was not near Central Park. This hotel was located in Times Square. The Times Square of the 90's :) I feel like this print combines a great 60's styling with a weird and meaningful moment in my life. While I think my parents were stressed to be in a hotel for that long, I thought it was the coolest. Basically a six year old's dream-- bright lights and free shirley temples every night!
4) Manhattan Bridge, Manhattan by Berenice Abbott
I've been traveling by bike between Brooklyn and Manhattan on the Manhattan Bridge for years. The path doesn't look like this anymore, but I love seeing older versions of current haunts. This path is particularly meaningful right now because I'm not taking the subway due to Covid, so anytime I want to travel to Manhattan I take this path over to the other side and back.
5) Cypress Point, Monterey by Carleton Watkins
Trees are truly amazing. They speak to each other via underground fungus tunnels. They cool the air. They provide shade and habitats. They are our silent observers. I think about the trees outside my window in Brooklyn and I wonder what they've seen over the years as the neighborhood evolves. Anyways, trees are the absolute coolest and the most mystical and mythical. This photo is such a good photo of a delightfully wonky tree. I couldn't resist.
5 Q's + 5 A's
1) What's your favorite museum?
I think the Centre Pompidou is the perfect museum. It's fun even to look at it from the outside. I visited it a lot as a kiddo, but it really made an impact on me as a 21 year old recent grad, returning to Paris for the first time since I was a child. The galleries are perfectly spaced. The permanent installations (hello Joseph Beuys piano room) are expertly executed. The curators and planners should be proud.
2) What's your most coveted coffee table book?
I was gifted everyone's favorite witch, Hilma AF Klint's book from the Guggenheim show. Everything about her and that show is a wild coincidence (or witch craft?!). Beyond how interesting her story is, her work is compelling as solely aesthetic pieces. The colors are perfect every time.
3) Do you prefer a single statement piece or a salon wall?
I love a single statement piece.
4) You've got $5m you have to spend on one piece of art. What would it be?
If I'm being completely hedonistic I would hire Olafur Elisson to create a weird, color changing mist tunnel or room for me to spend time in and throw weird dinner parties. With that said I really believe art can uplift communities and bring attention to important problems in the world. Since I'm not a hedonist, I imagine I would be funding art that tackled issues like the environment, poverty, wealth imbalance, queer youth issues, human rights, etc.
5) At Wolf PR, there’s a distinct focus on design businesses. As the founder, what led you to narrow in on this niche? What are some specific demands of PR in the design world that don’t necessarily carry the same weight in other industries?
Design is a great industry to be part of. I love considering the impact of the built world. And like all things design, there is important design and totally frivolous design, and I need both in my life. The best part of working in this industry is that it is not really cut throat like one might expect. This year I was lucky to get closer to so many design publicists with regular calls to share resources. No one views each other as competitors, the pie is big enough for everyone. All that to say I believe the weight I carry is a responsibility to keep this industry kind, thoughtful, and transparent!
The 411 on Nora Wolf
Nora has worked in PR her entire professional life and has been running her boutique public relations shop Wolf PR since 2011. Nora’s undergraduate degree in art and design continues to inform/inspire her current work as a design publicist. Wolf PR specializes in furniture, textiles, lighting, and collectable design, in addition to this they have consulted with a wide range of companies, from a Fortune 300 multinational chemical company to DTC cat food start up; they always welcome a diversity of clients. Nora has also always maintained a small business, enjoying the intimacy and agility that comes from having a nimble and dedicated team.
In 2020 (during the Corona outbreak, no less!) she decided to launch a second business, called Wolf Craft, to address PR needs that her first company, Wolf PR, was not designed to do. She is particularly excited about working one-on-one with other small businesses to help them tell their stories.