It was only after a ten-year case study by the New York Art Directors Club, conducted in the 1930s and ’40s, that art director and designer Cipe Pineles (1908–1991) was allowed to become its first woman member. Born in Vienna, Austria, Pineles went on to have a profound effect in modern magazine publishing.
After graduating from Pratt Institute, she became the assistant to Dr. Mehemed Fehmy Agha at Condé Nast in the ’30s working on Vogue. It was during this time she met future husband William Golden while they were both volunteers, working after hours on Theater Arts magazine. Golden had just returned from the West Coast—he had worked for Hearst Publications—and when a position opened up at Condé Nast, Pineles introduced him to her boss Dr. Agha. He became the art editor for House & Garden.
Pineles later became art director of Glamour, Seventeen, Charm and Mademoiselle. While at Seventeen, she introduced well-known fine artists—like Ben Shahn, Lucille Corcos and Andy Warhol—to fiction illustration, opening up a new platform in which they could exhibit their work.
In 1959, Bill Golden died and Pineles left the magazine business to pursue a career as an educator and design consultant. She became the first female art director for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in 1967 where all graphic design assignments fell under her jurisdiction. In 1970, she joined the faculty of Parsons School of Design to both teach and offer her expertise in art direction. The Parsons Bread Book was created in collaboration with her editorial design class, published by Harper and Row and chosen as one of the 50 best books of the year by the AIGA in 1973.
There is yet another first that Pineles claimed as her own; she was the first woman inducted to the Art Directors Hall of Fame. In the field of magazine publishing, Cipe Pineles was a revolutionary pioneer. As a female working in a male-dominated business, she constantly broke down barriers creating a path for other female designers to follow. ca