Although Cipe Pineles is relatively unknown today, she is one of the most influential designers of the 21st century. More than that, she is also the first woman to be inducted into the Art Director’s Hall of Fame and the AIGA which was surely an inspiration and milestone for all women. She is also often credited as being the first art director to incorporate the work of fine artists such as Ben Shahn and Andy Warhol into her editorials.
Cipe Pineles was born in Austria in 1908 and immigrated to New York in 1915 with her family to pursue a creative career. At 18, she studied fine art at Pratt in Brooklyn
Interestingly, she had a huge love of food, and we can see this exemplified in her early watercolour paintings of bread and chocolate. This passion would later be brought into her own work and art direction when she began to work commercially. Her work found their way in magazines such as Seventeen, Charm, Glamour, Vogue and Vanity Fair.
Originally, she struggled great in the face of sexism before finding work at contempora and soon became noticed by Conde Nast and Mehemed Agha for Vanity Fair and Vogue. She gained much experience under his tutelage and became well rounded in design, illustration, photography and direction.
Pineles was a great innovator and it was under her vision and direction that some of the fine artists we love today were able break into the design industry. Spot Illustrations in particular were popularized in this time because they began to accompany the stories and texts which brought a new angle. Pineles herself also won an Art Directors gold medal for her painting of potatoes.
Additionally, she taught nearing the end of her career at Parsons School of Art and Design from the 70’s to 80’s. Her life in the art and design would flourish until her death in 1991 at 83 years old.
Sources: https://www.cipepineles.com/about-cipe/ , http://www.historygraphicdesign.com/the-age-of-information/the-new-york-school/246-cipe-pineles ,