Michael Angelo Woolf

Is your surname Woolf?

Research the Woolf family

Michael Angelo Woolf's Geni Profile

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!


Michael Angelo Woolf

Birthdate: (61)
Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: March 4, 1899 (61)
his sister's home, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, United States (heart disease)
Immediate Family:

Son of Edward Woolf and Sarah Woolf
Brother of Benjamin Edward Woolf; Hannah Woolf; Solomon Israel Woolf; Eliza Henius; Philip A. Woolf, M.D. and 4 others

Occupation: artist, caricaturist, satirist, actor
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Michael Angelo Woolf

“Michael Angelo Woolf Dead. The Father of the Modern Comic Picture and the Artist of Waifs Succumbs to Heart Disease,” The New York Times, March 5, 1899.


from Amazon re:Sketches of lowly life in a great city, Hardcover – 1899 by Michael Angelo Woolf (Author)

Michael Angelo Woolf was born in London, England, August 27, 1837. His father was Edward Woolf, a musician of eminence, and a man of versatile talent in both art and literature. Michael Woolf was brought to America in his infancy ;his talent manifested itself early, and he contributed as a young man to many prominent periodicals. For a number of years he turned aside from draughtsmanship to pursue an actors career, and two charming autobiographical reminiscences of this period of his life appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, of Philadelphia, shortly after his death. At the close of the Civil War, Mr. Woolf resumed his original profession, but turning his attention more to painting, was hampered by the remissness of his early training, and sought regular art instruction, for the first time in his life, at the hands of Edouard Frere in France. Upon his return to America he exhibited a much admired painting, How It Happened, at the National Academy of Design. In his later years he turned his endeavors almost entirely to the delineation of child life among the poorer classes ;and his drawings, with their peculiar combination of humor and pathos, have become widely known here and abroad. Mr. Woolf died suddenly of heart disease at the home of his sister in Brooklyn, N. Y., March 4, 1899.


From Life Drawing Sunday 37: Michael Angelo Woolf Sunday, April 19, 2009

Woolf's eye was every bit as unflinching as Riis' camera was. That he found humor in the lives of the tenement dwellers, both children and adults, shouldn't suggest any lack of sympathy for their plight. The humor brings these characters to life, includes them in the human race. This is something that Riis' photographs, in spite of their depicting actual, living human beings, struggle to convey. Whether it comes from the harsh light of the magnesium flash or the shadowy suspicions Riis had about the moral rectitude of his voiceless subjects, there is a subtle emphasis placed on the otherness of the other half. To understand what the living conditions of the tenements were, Jacob Riis' work is essential but the picture of what life was like in these neighborhoods is incomplete without Michael Angelo Woolf's drawings.

see also


From page 559 of The Jewish Encyclopedia: Talmud - Zweifel

WOOLF, EDWARD : American musician and novelist; born in London, England, Sept., 1803; died in New York March 14, 1882. After acting as a musical conductor in his native city, he emigrated (1839) to New York, where his abilities were soon recognized, and where he was engaged as orchestral leader, musical instructor, and choirmaster. He contributed many novels to “The Jewish Messenger” during the early part of the existence of that periodical; among these may be mentioned “The Jewess of Toledo,” “The Vicomte d'Arblay,” and “Judith of Bohemia.” Woolf’s sons all attained more or less prominence: Solomon, as a professor of art and drawing for forty years in the College of the City of New York; Benjamin E. (born in London Feb., 1836; died in Boston, Mass., Feb. 6, 1901), as a dramatist and composer (“The Mighty Dollar” and “The Doctor of Alcantara”); Michael Angelo (born in London 1837; died in New York March 4, 1899), famous for his street caricatures; Philip (born in New York Feb. 7, 1848; died in Boston 1903), as a physician and novelist; and Albert Edward, as an inventor.

view all

Michael Angelo Woolf's Timeline

August 27, 1837
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
March 4, 1899
Age 61
Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, United States