New York, USA
Henry Wolf was an Austrian-born American graphic designer, photographer and art director best known for his art direction of Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Show magazines in the 1950s and ’60s—an influential contributor to that Mid-Century Modern era whose style has enjoyed such a resurgence in popularity of late. In particular, he is known for his bold yet simple use of expressive typography, surreal photography, and conceptual illustration.
Henry was born in 1925 in Vienna, Austria, from which he and his Jewish family fled the Nazis beginning in 1938, traveling through France and North Africa, before arriving to the United States in 1941. He worked with photographers Richard Avedon, Melvin Sokolsky, and Art Kane before launching his own photography studio in New York’s Upper East Side.
He became art director of Esquire in 1952; in 1958 he became the art director of Harper’s Bazaar (succeeding Alexey Brodovitch); and in 1961 he started a new magazine, Show, for A&P heir Huntington Hartford. In 1965 he moved over to the advertising world where he directed numerous high-profile campaigns. In 1971 he launched Henry Wolf Productions, a studio devoted to photography, film, and design. In later years he taught graphic design at Parsons School of Design in New York, as well as the School of Visual Arts, and Cooper Union.
Henry was honored with many awards, but more importantly, he was admired by colleagues, peers, and competitors alike. Read a biography written my Milton Glaser here and view collections of his works here and here.