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Alexey Brodovitch collection

 Collection — Box-Folder: 1-21
Identifier: CSC-0087

Scope and Contents

The Alexey Brodovitch collection has been developed from the gifts of many donors. Former students and colleagues of Brodovitch whose work is included in the collection, have been gracious enough to donate their work and related material to the Cary Graphic Design Archive. The collection contains correspondence, photographs and contact sheets for various clients, cassette tapes from classes Brodovitch taught, and exhibition materials from renowned art director Alexey Brodovitch. Brodovitch worked at Harper's Bazaar for over twenty-five years, helping to shape their aesthetic design.


  • Creation: 1898-1994

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) was a pioneering art director, whose twenty-five-year tenure at Harper's Bazaar (1934-1958) makes him a key figure in editorial design history. Brodovitch was born in Russia in 1898 to a wealthy military family. He ran away from home at age 16 to join the Russian army. During the Russian Civil War, he fought for the White Army against the Bolsheviks. He was badly wounded and hospitalized during the fighting. The Bolsheviks surrounded the town where Brodovitch was in hospital forcing him to flee. While escaping through the Caucasus he met his future wife Nina. He was reunited with his family who then fled from Russia to France. It was there that he began to seriously study art and design. In 1930 he was offered a job in Philadelphia teaching at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art. He advanced quickly within the school and by 1933 he was teaching advanced students in his Design Laboratory. Many well known artists of the twentieth-century were students of Brodovitch's during this time including: Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Hiro, and Diane Arbus. By 1934, Brodovitch had been offered a job at Harper's Bazaar. The Hearst publication hoped to revamp their look giving it a more modern twist. They selected Alexey to lead the change, creating his own unique design asthetic for the magazine. He remained at the magazine for many years. In his later years the celebrated artist suffered from bouts of depression and alcoholism following his wife's death. The influential art director is recognized by many as being a revoluntionary influence on twentieth-century art and design.


18 Linear Feet (13 flat storage boxes, 5 small flip-top boxes, 1 document box, 1 notebook, 2 large storage boxes and 1 oversize flat-file drawer. )




The collection contains correspondence, photographs and contact sheets for various clients, cassette tapes from classes Brodovitch taught, and exhibition materials from reowned art director Alexey Brodovitch.


The collection is arranged into three groups: Photographic materials, Bibliographic/Biographic materials, and Publications by Brodovitch.

Physical Location

Graphic Design Archives, Cary Collection Annex

Other Finding Aids

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the Cary Graphic Arts Collection.

Alexey Brodovitch collection

A/V Materials inventory

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection contains materials from many different donors including former students and colleagues.

Accession number(s): 2001:001

Processing Information

Collection processed by Heidi Halton, August 2001.

Finding aid encoded by Lisa Witt, August 2015.

Alexey Brodovitch collection
Ready To Publish
Cary Graphic Design Archives
Heidi Halton
26 August 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Cary Graphic Arts Collection Repository

Rochester NY 14623 US
(585) 475-2408