Welcome to the Wolf Museum
of Music and Art

This Beautiful Victorian house was both home and music studio to Dr. William A. Wolf and his wife Frances, who instructed generations of Lancastrians in piano technique and theory. The Queen Anne style house dates from 1890 and maintains many of the original furnishings.

Dr. William A. Wolf

Mrs. Frances Harkness Wolf



The Wolf Museum is located at 423 West Chestnut St. in Lancaster, PA.  The stately three story Queen Anne structure was built during the period 1888-1890.  Dr. Wolf first occupied the property in 1913.  The home is spacious and tastefully decorated with 19th and early 20th century furniture.  Many of the furniture pieces were made by the well known Lancaster county craftsman, Henry Slaugh. The entire home and music studio, have been preserved with the original furnishings.  The studio contains two Knabe concert grand pianos (acquired in 1915).  Both pianos have been completely refurbished and are situated in the salon where public recitals are held on various occasions throughout the year. In addition to the pianos, the adjacent Walnut room contains an extensive library entailing a broad selection of musical topics covering the history and development of western classical music.


On the night of February third 1899, at eight o’clock, the first piano lesson was given in the studio of William A. Wolf in the City of Lancaster.  From the outgrowth of this studio with its comparatively humble surroundings developed an Institute of Music that was to bring the rural city of Lancaster into the 20th century world of classical music.  By the 1920s, Dr. Wolf, with the competent assistance of his wife and former pupil Frances Harkness Wolf, had achieved unparalleled and worldwide recognition for  the Institute’s teaching program. Dr. William A. Wolf began his music teaching career in 1899 in the city of Lancaster, PA.  In the same year he was awarded a Bachelor degree in music from  New York University.  Dr. Wolf actively continued teaching music in Lancaster until 1964.  In the intervening years he earned both Master and Ph.D. degrees in music, again from NYU.  He became internationally recognized as the founder of the highly regarded Wolf Institute of Music.  Prior to his teaching career he studied piano and orchestration with many prominent teachers some of whom include Feruccio Busoni and Rafael Joseffy in the United States, and also Hugo Reimann in Leipzig Germany.  He was an associate of many famous musicians of his time, including Edward MacDowell and Percy Granger. With his talent, connections, and academic credentials he aspired and worked diligently to bring to the then rural city of Lancaster a genuine appreciation for Western Classical music.  In this goal, he succeeded admirably, having instructed many talented Lancastrians, some of whom are living and performing today.

The Art

Below are a few selections of the art found within the Wolf Museum. Click each image to view at a larger size.

The Philadelphia Ten

An exhibition of 247 paintings, all by women, opened on February 17, 1917, at the Art Club of Philadelphia. Included were landscapes, a few floral still lifes, and occasional portraits. Eleven young women—Eleanor Abrams, Katherine McCarthy, and Katherine Hood McCormick—“several of them associated with the School of Design for Women,” banded together for what proved to be the first of sixty-five exhibitions.
This little-heralded event marked the beginning of the nearly thirty-year history of a group, which, with changes in membership, comprised thirty women who called themselves “Ten Philadelphia Painters,” then and, later, simply “The Ten.”
All members had studied art in the schools of Philadelphia and all but three of the original ten were graduates of the Philadelphia School of Design for Women (now Moore College of Art and Design). Relatively unknown today, this group of a total of 23 painters and 7 sculptors was critically acclaimed, aggressively shown, and widely patronized during the twenty-eight years they formally exhibited together.

Mission Statement

The Mission Statement below is currently under review and the revised version should be available in the near future.

The Mission of the Museum is to maintain a public charity for educational, literary and fine arts appreciation to be known as the Wolf Museum of Music and Arts, according to the terms of the Will of Frances H. Wolf.


The Museum was officially created in 1973 and has been competently operated since that time under the continuing guidance of a Board of Trustees. Over the intervening years many factors have contributed to a present need for specific short and long term planning that will help insure the future existence and financial stability of the Museum. Additional, specific planning is needed to insure the long-term preservation of museum property, musical contents, art, household furnishings and historical aspects.

  • An immediate goal is to heighten public awareness of the outstanding historical and cultural significance associated with this institution. The media, Internet and academic institutions will be used to publicize upcoming activities to be held at the Museum.
  • Lecture series on the historical aspects of composers/and their music.
  • Also, the provenance of Museum possessions, especially the women’s art contained therein.
  • Individual and group musical recitals will be held featuring young and mature artists
  • More frequent opening of the museum to the public for guided tours consisting of small groups.