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Politics in print, by Henry Wolf
From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series 10.
October 12, 2014

Politics in print, by Henry Wolf

By: zacharysachs

Henry Wolf took a variety of approaches to dramatizing the American political process in his magazine design.


This cover for Esquire, in November 1956 fits in Henry Wolf’s mid-50s flat magazine cover style, where, in place of his usual juxtapositions of sharp images, instead he collages objects of often-ambiguous origin into concert that has visual force without being tied to a particular reference.


A scan of a magazine spread. CRISIS is printed on the top left corner in bold black text. Below the title is the article in vey small text. Next to the article is a row of 5 images in the same size, they're roughly in the middle of the left page. On the right page a row of 3 images are in the middle of the page. Below is a bigger image than the rest.


 
From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series 10.

In editorials he often used repetition to sustain tension throughout a piece, as in this feature about JFK’s decision making process for Show, from the early 1960s.


A scan of a magazine spread. The left page has two columns of 5 images, that are the same size, with descriptions next to each image. There are several images that are repeated on this page. The right page has a column of 5 images with description to each image and on the mid-lower right is an image of JFK with a description below it.


 
From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series 10.

A scan of a magazine spread. The left page has 5 images set up vertically. The bottom most image is bigger than the other 4 images. The smaller 4 images each have a small description next to it.  On the right page there is two strips that repeats the same image, one strip is slightly longer than the other. The shorter one has a text above it.


 
From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series 10.

His later style combined these effects into designs that referred more explicitly to their subject. In this paste-up for a later project, he contextualizes the article’s point: “For years Americans have criticized the President. If we could invent one, [w]hat kind of man would he be?”


A scan of a magazine spread. The title of the article is in small blue text on the top left of the left page. Below the title is a strip of images of past presidents that go across both pages. On the right page one of the images is picked off by tweezers and placed on top of a man that stands below the strip of images. The man is in a suite and tie and is alone. Below the strip of image on the left page is the article in small blue text.


 
From the Henry Wolf Collection, Series 10.