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Henry Wolf Collection

About the Collection

The Henry Wolf Collection contains the photographs (slides and proof sheets), printed materials (magazines, advertisements, brochures), business correspondence and miscellaneous related materials (awards, degrees, related news clippings) of the designer and photographer Henry Wolf. Series I: Periodicals This series contains tearsheets from a wide variety of magazines that were included in the donation, primarily samples of photography, editorial design. Oversized pages, which are generally uncut proofs, are stored in Box 4. Complete issues are stored separately in Box 5, including original copies of Esquire, Sesame Street Magazine, and America Illustrated. Complete volumes of Esquire, Sesame Street Magazine, and Show in bound editions are located in Box 6. Series II: Advertisements Wolf designed a wide array of advertisements, but the majority are full-page magazine ads. Oversized reproductions, generally proof sheets for full-page ads, are stored separately in Box 4 and Box 8. Series III: Brochures Bound promotional materials and booklet advertising materials, including catalogs, mailers, informational brochures, and annual reports are gathered in this series. 23 Series IV: Posters The majority of this series consists of event posters for design conferences (including those for the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the International Design Conference in Aspen, and the Art Directors Club of New York), as well as a variety of posters produced by Henry Wolf Productions for cultural programming sponsored by IBM. Series V: Book jackets and record sleeves This series comprises two subseries, Subseries A book jackets and Subseries B for original record sleeves. Series VI: Miscellaneous Henry Wolf meticulously collected references to his work in print publications, which included his accumulation of awards, appearances in art direction annuals, and mentions in the mainstream press. These holdings are divided into press clippings and tearsheets (Boxes 18–20), bulletins from organizations like the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the International Design Conference in Aspen (Box 14), advertising annuals (Box 21–27), published hardcover books (Boxes 14 and 15) and school publications including issues produced by Wolf’s classes at Parsons, the School of Visual Arts, and the Rochester Institute of Technology, and other miscellaneous publications by those and other schools (Box 27). Series VII: Correspondence and personal items The letters included in this collection are ordered chronologically, and located in Boxes 28–32. This series also includes the self-published memoir, Hopeless But Not Serious, and the files associated with it; transcripts of speeches and presentation materials, and some business and legal documents associated with Trahey/Wolf advertising. Awards and paper certificates are contained in Box 32, and three-dimensional objects, including awards and military decorations are in Box 33. Series VIII: “Class” Henry Wolf developed an extensive proposal for a magazine, which is included in this series, and includes detailed typescript of feature concepts (some of which were originally presented to Town & Country), and mounted, collage spread designs. Boxes 34 and 35. Series IX: Original art This series includes illustrations and collages for commercial clients as well as non-commercial projects, including a series titled “Picasso.” Series X: Photographs and slides This series is comprised of subseries for: photographs inventoried and given identification numbers by Wolf (subseries A); photographs not inventoried by Wolf, and assigned consecutive photo numbers by the archives (subseries B); a collected set of duplicate photograph prints of equal dimension, likely for a book or exhibition (subseries C); self-developing (Polaroid) prints (subseries D); second-generation reproductions of photographs on non-photographic paper (subseries E); contact sheets labeled “obsolete material” in the Wolf inventory and negatives, stored according to original groupings (probably the developers’—subseries F); and slides, mostly categorized by Wolf (subseries G). The first two subseries and subseries F are kept in consecutive order by photograph number in transparent photographic sleeves of two sizes, 11 × 14 and 20 × 24; subseries C, D, E, and F are stored in folders in document boxes; slides in subseries G are kept in binders arranged according to original Wolf inventory, followed by those uninventoried, identified by their original box label, when available. Henry Wolf (1925–2005) shaped American periodical design in the 1950s and 1960s as art director of Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, and Show magazines. He joined the McCann Erickson advertising agency in 1965 and later teamed with Jane Trahey to form Trahey/Wolf Advertising. In 1971 he founded Henry Wolf Productions, Inc., a studio dedicated to advertising and editorial photography. For the next three decades, Wolf worked as both a photographer and designer, shooting for a host of major clients, including Saks Fifth Avenue, Xerox, Revlon, and DeBeers.