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Henrietta Condak collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: CSC-0116

Scope and Contents

The collection of Henrietta Condak at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) was donated by the designer herself. It contains album covers, printer’s proofs of album covers (tearsheets) as well as collage and paste-ups exhibiting preliminary ideas. The collection is organized into two series: I. Client work done for Columbia, CBS and Nonesuch including finished designs, printer’s proofs and presentation examples; and II. Condak’s original artwork. The series are also broken up according to size; actual size and large (usually consisting of both the recto and verso side of each Album Cover).

All series in this collection are separated by publisher. These groups include Columbia (1970’s – 1980’s), Columbia Masterworks (1960’s – 1980’s), Columbia Odyssey (1970’s – 1980’s), CBS (1980’s), CBS Masterworks (1980’s), Nonesuch (1980’s), and CBS Great Performances (no date.) The Greatest Performances consists of 10 examples of a series of 100 covers designed with the same five wood typefaces. For the collection under the publishers Columbia, Nonesuch and CBS the album covers include musical works played by piano, wind and string instruments of classic and modern composers. The album cover designs include photographs of the instruments, illustrations utilizing typography and images of classic composers, photographs of the musicians. The folders are then organized by composer alphabetically.

The Henrietta Condak Collection consists of album covers where she acted as the Art Director for a majority of the works.


  • Creation: circa 1960-1980


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

After graduating from Cooper Union, Henrietta started her career at Esquire’s Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine. After holding this position for some time, she moved on to Esquire magazine’s promotional department. To follow Cliff Condak to Florence, Italy, Henrietta quit her job at Esquire’s GQ in 1958. While both Henrietta and Cliff were abroad they were married.

Cliff was born in 1930, and studied at Pratt and the Museum of Modern Art School before he graduated high school. He attended college at the Institute of Applied Arts and Sciences at the State University of New York, where he majored in advertising art. During his two years in the army and afterwards when he took a year off to travel to Florence, he continued to study art. After returning to the United States he began a career as a freelance artist. He passed away in 1985 after working for numerous companies such as GQ, Playboy and Seventeen, exhibited in one-man shows, and taught at School of Visual Arts, Pratt and Parsons.

Henrietta worked for Columbia Records from 1963 until 1984 as a designer in the art department. Her directors included John Berg and Bob Cato, who is also represented at the Cary Collection. She collaborated with designers and illustrators including but not limited to David Levine, Andy Engle, David Wilcox, Tony Lane, Robert Van Nutt, Anne Garner, Robert Weaver, Philip Hays, John Collier, Milton Glaser, Scher and Goldberg.

In 1982, Henrietta became a professor at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in Manhattan. While continuing to teach, in 1984, Henrietta left Columbia Records and started her own studio, Condak Design. Here she worked with music clients such as Nonesuch/Elektra Records, Score Productions and the Balanchine Foundation. She also worked with publishing giants such as The New York Times, Random House, Time and Sports Illustrated. Henrietta designed books including Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts and Damon Runyon, A Life by Jimmy Breslin.

As of 2016, Henrietta is an art director, professor of Type Design and principal designer of Condak Design.

Sources: Brower, Steven. The Musical Work of Design Pioneer Henrietta Condak. AIGA and the Cliff Condak Collection at the Washington University in St. Louis and


8 Linear Feet (4 oversized boxes 1 map drawer location row 2b and Drawer 5.4 )


Materials donated by the creator, Henrietta Condak. Henrietta Condak is a graphic designer, art director and professor. The Collection includes album covers, printer’s proofs (tearsheets) and collage (paste-ups).


Collection is organized in to two series: I. Client Work, 1960’s – 1987; II. Original Artwork, 1970’s – 1980’s

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Henrietta Condak collection


Henrietta Condak collection
CARSCSC - Cary Special Collections
In Progress
Katie Curran
12 October 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408