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Henry Wolf
By Roberta Chiarella

Henry Wolf lived a double life.

His style of décor, dress, design and painting were always
a combination of simplicity and intricacy.
Note the titles of his recent books-
“A bold look backwards” and “hopeless but not serious”.


His beautiful home was comfortable, yet opulent at the same time.
When he recently moved to a new space, every item was
put in the same spot as the apartment before.
He listened to the music of his youth and surrounded himself with
drawings, letters and photos of his life and the people in it.
He reminisced about the past but loved the present.

In his work, it was the same.
Simple, yet very,very complicated.
In recent years he focused on painting.
And devoted every minute to it.
The recent works are so different from the early paintings.
They appear heavy — as if they hold a lifetime.
He was very proud of his work as a painter.

Henry Wolf was not a modern man by most peoples’ standards.
He did not have an iPod, a laptop, cellphone, or even a microwave.
It never occurred to him that he needed them.
As far as he was concerned he had everything he needed.
He was so true to himself in everything he did.
It was amazing.
He was backwards, and yet forward at the same time.

Our relationship went from academic to professional to intimate,
but over 30 years we remained close friends.
We would meet for dinner as often as we could —
I last saw him just a few days before he passed away on Valentines Day 2005.
The evening was true to form. It felt like the past, but it was the present.

Designer — Roberta Chiarella


Roberta Chiarella began her design training at an early age beside the drawing table of her father, Joseph Chiarella, a successful advertising art director and illustrator. She studied at Parson’s School of Design in New York City. As an art director, producer and package designer, Roberta worked for Clinique and Cosmair’s Designer Fragrance Division that included Ralph Lauren, Paloma Picasso, Cacharel, Guy Laroche, and Giorgio Armani. She later succeeded as Vice President of Creative for Yves Saint Laurent Perfumes, overseeing Public Relations, Special Events, In-Store Design and Advertising.

Roberta’s transition from creative director to jewelry designer was completed when her early work was honored in a group exhibition at The American Craft Museum in NYC.

Since then, Roberta Chiarella’s designs have been featured in print, television and film.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 2230 FILED UNDER Designer/Design Firm Profile
PUBLISHED ON Feb.28.2005 BY Speak Up
Maria’s comment is:

Thank you for this. I was a student of Henry Wolf's at Parsons, and what I learned in his class alone made the exorbitant tuition worth it. Henry also wrote one of my grad school recommendations. I was very moved at his memorial service a couple weeks ago and will always treasure the handwritten notes I received from him as a student. Truly a class act that will be sorely missed. They don't make 'em like that anymore.

On Feb.28.2005 at 02:01 PM
aaron’s comment is:

What a nice tribute. I attended Parsons, and agree that Henry Wolf was the best. The writer is truly lucky she got to know him so well. He was respected by all, yet was a nice and a funny man. He lived a very productive life in what must have been the golden years of the magazine. His work and his personal style were an inspiration to me.

On Mar.02.2005 at 11:33 AM
art chantry’s comment is:

henry wolf did so many woinderful things in his creer, that it's almost impossible to imagine it. but, above all for me, he's the man who gave us the playboy bunny logo. for that alone, he deserves out eternal gratitude.

beyond classic.

On Mar.02.2005 at 09:29 PM
Daniel Green’s comment is:

Art -- are you sure about that? An article by Steven Heller in PRINT (Jan/Feb. 2000) credits Art Paul for that effort.

On Mar.03.2005 at 01:05 PM
art chantry’s comment is:

dang! i dunno. maybe i am. i thought wolf did it. i stand corrected (if i'm wrong).

however, being as perfect as i am, i'm never wrong. even heller knows that.

so, even if art paul did the logo, i now officially credit it to henry wolf. no more arguments. case closed.

now i feel better.

On Mar.03.2005 at 01:28 PM
roberta’s comment is:

after reading the above comments about the playboy

bunny logo i can see that you both really knew henry's style and taste.

he would have loved to have been credited with it's design.so i second the vote to credit henry with it's design.

On Mar.03.2005 at 06:54 PM
s. heller’s comment is:

Art, indeed you are never wrong, but sometimes you are mistaken. It makes you human.

Art Paul designed the Playboy bunny logo and the premier issue of Playboy. He was a remarkable art director, and along with Henry one of the best concept art directors of the 50s-60s. He's also alive an well.

I've attached a link to Henry's obituary that ran in the Times a few weeks ago.

On Mar.03.2005 at 07:16 PM
art chantry’s comment is:

dare you call me human, you mere mortal?!?

On Mar.03.2005 at 07:24 PM
Guenter Knop’s comment is:

About Henry,

He was shy, had humor and was a bit sarcastic. Who ever enjoyed his friendship knows what I am talking about.

Who ever met him as a designer and knows his brilliant work will

remember him like others Brodovitch. People who talk about women and Playboy bunnies in connection to Henry must be talking about a different Henry Wolf and come from time were women could not vote. Even old "friends" of his seem not to be able to separate his work from his privat life. Old Men !!

Guenter Knop

On May.13.2005 at 12:23 PM