Cipe Pineles

During the worst depression this country has ever known, a 20-year-old artist named Cipe Pineles walked around New York trying to sell her paintings of sandwiches and Coca-Cola bottles. Several decades later, of course, magazines like McCall's would indeed buy Cipe Pineles' still lives of sandwiches, as would Ladies Home Journal her herbs, and House Beautiful her cheese cake.

In the intervening years, Miss Pineles became one of the most highly acclaimed magazine art directors and graphic designers in the country. She worked as design consultant for New York's Lincoln Center, and as director of publication design at Parsons School of Design.

 

Cipe Pineles
Cipe Pineles


She was born in Vienna, attended high school in Brooklyn, and went to Pratt Institute, where she won a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Scholarship. After graduation, and what she calls an "adventurous" year in the still-life painting business, she became assistant in 1932 to M.F. Agha, then art director of Conde Nast publications. She stayed at Conde Nast long enough to become a 10-year-test-case of The Art Directors Club's admission policy toward women, and did in fact become its first woman member.

Cipe Pineles

In 1947, she moved to Seventeen as art director, introducing there the commissioning of leading painters to do fiction illustration (on the theory that young readers would have few barriers in accepting fine art). And so the pages were graced by the work of Ben Shahn, Leonard Baskin, Raphael Sayer, Kuniyoshi, Doris Lee, Robert Osborn, Jan Balet, Joe Kaufman, Evalyne Ness, Lucille Corcos, Andy Warhol, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Lindner, and Jerome Snyder.

In 1950, Miss Pineles was named art director of Street & Smith's Charm, where she and Editor Helen Valentine redirected the publication to a then new consumer audience—women who work. She moved to another Street & Smith publication, Mademoiselle, leaving in 1961 to work as an independent designer and illustrator. Cipe Pineles became design consultant to Lincoln Center in 1967, with the entire graphics program of the Center, from stationery to annual reports, under her supervision. Her communication assignments there also included the corporate symbol design and the monthly Journal and Calendar of Events.

Cipe Pineles

 

Cipe Pineles

In 1970 she joined the faculty of the Parsons School of Design, becoming as well director of publication design. The "Parsons Bread Book," produced as a class project, was republished by Harper & Row in 1974, and the original student version, "Bread," was included in the 1974 American Institute of Graphic Arts' prestigious "50 Books Of The Year" show.

She was married to William Golden for 20 years. Several years after his death, in 1959, she married Will Burtin, who died in 1972.

RECOMMENDED READING

 

 Cipe Pineles: A Life of Design

Cipe Pineles: A Life of Design (Norton Book for Architects and Designers) by Cipe Pineles Golden & Martha Scotford//ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=historygraphi-20&l=am2&o=1&a=0393730271

One of the unsung pioneers of American graphic design, Cipe Pineles was art director of Glamour, Seventeen, Charm, and Mademoiselle magazines between 1930 and 1960, helped to create the institutional identity for Lincoln Center in the 1960s, and taught generations of students at Parsons School of Design. Tracing Pineles's career from young immigrant to "ranking" female in the design world, Martha Scotford chronicles her professional life at a time when few women were involved in design and assesses her contributions to graphic design and magazine design in particular.

2018 History Graphic Design

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