Advertising Innovator: Henry Wolf

Henry Wolf was an American graphic designer, photographer and art director who is best known for working at Esquire, Bazaar, and Show magazines. He was born in Vienna, Austria on May 23, 1925 by Jewish parents and when Hitler came into power, his family had no choice but to flee from Austria. When wolf was a teenager, he moved to Paris to study art, but his family later relocated to the US in 1941 after constant hiding from the Germans. There he studied at the New York City’s School of Industrial Arts, but once again his studies were interrupted after he had to serve in the army (in the intelligence unit in the Pacific) from 1943-1946. After the war ended, he returned back to the US and began working with Richard Avedon, Melvin Sokolsky, and Art Kane. In 1952, Wolf began working at Esquire as a junior art director and it was just shortly after that he officially became the art director and completely transformed the magazine. During this time, Wolf had been studying photography and design under Alexey Brodovitch (whom he ends up succeeding as the Art Director of Harper’s Bazaar). He worked there for three years and in 1961, he became the art director of Show Magazine. Four years later, Wolf began working for an advertising company called McCann Erickson and did advertising campaigns for Alka Seltzer, Buick, Gillette, and Coca-Cola. He did many advertisements after that as well such as for Saks Fifth Avenue and I Magnin, Xerox, IBM, Revlon, De Beers, Blackgama Mink, Charles of the Ritz, Elizabeth Arden, and Union Carbide. In 1971, Wolf turned his eyes towards launching his own studio called Henry Wold Productions that specialized in photography, film, and design. For the next thirty years, he created five hundred commercials, nine films and also taught at the Parsons School of Design and School of Visual Arts. Wolf died on February 14, 2005 after a lifetime of achievement in the design, photography, and film industry.




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