Cipe Pineles

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Cipe Pineles
Born June 23, 1908
Vienna, Austria
Died January 3, 1991
Good Samaritan Hospital in Suffern, N.Y.

Graphic Designer

Art Director

Cipe Pineles (June 23, 1908 – January 3, 1991) was an Austrian-born graphic designer and art director who made her career in New York at such magazines as Seventeen, Charm and Mademoiselle. She was known for her trailblazing as the first female art director of many major magazines, as well as being credited as the first person to bring fine art into mainstream mass-produced media. She married two prominent designers, twice widowed, and had two children and two grandchildren.


Pineles was born June 23, 1908 in Vienna. She came to the United States at the age of 13, attended Bay Ridge High School in Brooklyn and won a Tiffany Foundation Scholarship to Pratt Institute[1] from 1927-1931. She continued her education in 1930 at the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation.[2]

Pineles was married to two notable designers. She and William Golden were married from 1939 until his death in 1959. She and Will Burtin were married from 1961 until his death in 1972. Pineles died in 1991. Pineles had a son, Thomas Pineles Golden with William Golden and a daughter, Carol Burtin Fripp, with Will Burtin, along with two grandchildren. She suffered from kidney disease and ultimately died of a heart attack.[3]


Pineles had a nearly 60-year-long career in design. She started her career at the age of 23 at Contempora after struggling to enter the work force due to sexism in the industry. She worked there from 1931-1933 until Condé Nast’s wife noticed Pineles’ work at Contempora. In 1932 (to 1936) she became an assistant to M. F. Agha, the art director of Condé Nast Publications. Agha, testing new ideas with photography and layout, allowed Pineles great independence, therefore she designed a considerable number of projects on her own.[4] She soon became the art director for Glamour, publication directed at young women; this is where her style as a playful modernist developed through various uses of image and type.[4]

Pineles also worked with female designer Estelle Ellis, who became the promotion director of Charm, the "magazine for women who work," in 1944.[4] She worked for Vogue in New York and London (1932–38) and Overseas Woman in Paris (1945–46). She continued to develop her distinct style throughout her career and in 1942, she became art director of Glamour. She went on to become the Art Director at Seventeen (1947-1950), then Charm (1950–59) and moved in 1961 to become art director of Mademoiselle in New York. From 1961 to 1972 she worked as a graphic design consultant for the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York, supervising the creation of branding and marketing materials for this institution of the arts.

She was also credited with being the first person to bring fine art into mainstream, mass-produced media. She commissioned fine artists such as Ad Reinhardt and Andy Warhol to illustrate articles during her time at Seventeen. Pineles rejected the standard that women should be mindless and focused on finding a husband, and considered her readers thoughtful and serious.

“We tried to make the prosaic attractive without using the tired clichés of false glamour,” she said in an interview. “You might say we tried to convey the attractiveness of reality, as opposed to the glitter of a never-never land.”[5] Her work contributed to the effort to redefine the style of women’s magazines. Her efforts also contributed to the feminist movement by helping to continue to change women's roles in society.[6]

Pineles joined the faculty of Parsons School of Design in 1963 and was also its director of publication design.[3] Positions at the Cooper Union (in 1977), and at Harvard University in Cambridge (in 1978) followed.

Achievements & Awards[edit]

Pineles repeatedly broke the glass celiing in the design field. She was the first female member of the Art Director's Club of New York in 1943 after being nominated for 10 years and was the first woman inducted into its Hall of Fame.[7]

In 1943, Pineles became the first female member of the Art Directors Club. She was later inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame in 1975.[1] In 1955 she became the first and until 1968 only female member of the AGI. In 1984 she was honoured by the Society of Publication Designers with Herb Lubalin Award. Pineles received the AIGA Medal in 1996.[8]



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ a b c Kirkham, Pat (2000). Women Designers in the USA, 1900-2000: Diversity and Difference. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. pp. 369–370. 
  5. ^ "Cipe Pineles". AIGA | the professional association for design. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  6. ^ "Pioneering Women of Graphic Design – Graphic Design USA". Retrieved 2017-01-31. 
  7. ^ Cook, Joan (1991-01-05). "Cipe Pineles Burtin Is Dead at 82; First Woman in Art Directors Club". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-01-27. 
  8. ^ Cipi Pineles: Biography by Martha Scofford.

External links[edit]