Showing items from the Henry Wolf Collection
28 Aug 2009

Atomic-age publication design

Comment was a promotional periodical produced by consortium of printers in the early sixties. Issue 200 included contributions from Saul Bass, Will Burtin, and Henry Wolf.

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28 Jul 2009

Toys of the 1940s

The Henry Wolf Collection: Box 1, Folder 41

Henry Wolf art directed and photographed “Toys of a Decade” for the October 1960 Esquire. The text was full of familiar connoisseur’s details about an eclectic range of 1940s bric-a-brac. But it was presented in classic sixties prose style: partial acknowledgment of excess clothed in mock-rapturous anaphora:

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive! While the world was impoverished, America rejoiced in its material goods, and honest goods they were. Lionel trains had a third rail down the middle, and telephones came in any color, if it was black … Johnny hawked his Philip Morris cigarettes (in plain brown wrappers) on the airwaves. Charles Eames’s plywood chair, built to sustain the bottom, has lasted until today, while brain food like Collier’s and Flash Gordon became period pieces. God, we were content! The only subversive voice was Baby Snooks every Friday night, she would ask, all feigned innocence, “Why, Daddy?” … Then, suddenly, it was 1950. North Korea invaded South Korea; and next spring Baby Snooks was dead.

(Esquire casually omits Ray Eames’ credit on the DCM.)

28 Apr 2009

Alan Fletcher’s “Feedback”

Pentagram Partners’ Feedback, five volumes, London 1976–1996

Among the ephemera in the Henry Wolf Collection are five early editions of Pentagram’s Feedback — guidebooks for globetrotting designers. Excerpts from David Hockney, Olivier Morgue and Bob Gill follow.

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25 Mar 2009

Wonder Magazine, 1962

SVA RG 14.9.1 Media Arts — Wonder magazine, 1962.

Wonder was the product of Henry Wolf’s class, Making a Magazine, at the School of Visual Arts. Conceived, designed, and written over the course of the Fall 1961 and Spring 1962 semesters, this one-off children’s magazine communicated with its audience in an exuberantly playful manner that never condescended. And it’s certainly the coolest-looking kids magazine I’ve ever seen. Wolf’s students included William Ingraham, Walter Bernard, Sullivan Ashby, Robert Giusti, Herbert Migdoll, Shirley Glaser, David November, Antonio Macchia, and Henry Markowitz.

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23 Mar 2009

Jack Roberts birth announcement, 1950

A birth announcement illustrated by Jack Roberts (for his daughter), archived in Henry Wolf’s correspondence.

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29 Jan 2009

Madison Avenue in the 1960s

Madison Avenue, October 1969. From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series VI. Box 19, Folder 6.

Pictured: Sandy Kiersky, media director for Trahey/Wolf advertising and her fantastic eyeglasses. Click through for the full frame of this shot and pictures of their futuristic mid-century office at 477 Madison Avenue.

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15 Jan 2009

Vignelli charts design changes: 60s–80s

Massimo Vignelli, from Alliance Graphique Internationale Los Angeles No. 12, 20/août 1985. (From somewhere in the Henry Wolf Collection.)

It surprises no one that the side of 60s design that Vignelli decides to focus on is the modularity and rigid systematization that he specialized in.

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15 Jan 2009

Erasermate: Put it down and take it back

Henry Wolf Collection, Series 2: Box 5B, Folder 28.

Wolf shot the photograph for this ca. 1980s Papermate ad, which was originally a full magazine spread. Presumably the art direction credit here includes the choice of this outrageous but strangely compelling combination of magenta boots, purple legwarmers, and high-cut acid-wash jeans. Against their layered, cool-tone palette, the yellow barrel of the pen stands out, its silver clip echoing the silver italic copy. The only snag here, in my opinion, is the affected rhythm of “Think, Re-think, State, Re-state,” which falls too comfortably into the exhausted “Big Idea” voice that was so prevalent in advertising a few decades before, and doesn’t really achieve any meaningful interaction with the image.