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Audrey Hepburn and Richard Avedon, 1959

Audrey Hepburn and Richard Avedon, 1959

Henry Wolf (1925-2005) was born in Vienna where he lived until 1938 when his family was forced to flee.  The next three years of Wolf's life were spent attending an array of schools until he settled in Paris to study art. In 1941, he immigrated to the US, where he studied at the New York City School of Industrial Arts. However, Wolf's art studies where interrupted when, in 1943, he joined the army and served for three years. After the war, Wolf returned to New York and began working for an art studio. At the same time he was studying photography and design under the legendary art director Alexey Brodovitch.

In 1952, Wolf took a job at Esquire as the junior art director. He soon went on to become graphics editor and, at twenty-six, was one of the youngest at any national magazine. It was not long until he was appointed art director of the magazine. Over the next two years, he shaped Esquire in his own image, featuring witty covers and newly discovered photographers, creating the look for which the magazine became known. In 1958, Wolf succeeded Alexey Brodovitch as art director of Harper's Bazaar. He worked there for three years where, again, he collaborated with editors to define the magazine, choosing what to feature on the covers and holding sway over the design of the publication as a whole. In 1961, he became art director of a new magazine called Show. There, his covers became known for their humour and sophistication.

In 1965, Wolf began working for advertising agency, McCann Erickson, where he directed high-profile campaigns for Alka Seltzer, Gillette and Coca-Cola. Then, in 1971, Wolf turned his hand to photography, film and design, and launched his own company called Henry Wolf Productions. For the next thirty years, he worked as a photographer and designer, creating over five hundred commercials and nine films. He went on to teach graphic design in New York and in 1976 was awarded the American Institute of Graphics Art Medal for Lifetime Achievement.