After nearly 40 years helming Architectural Digest, 71-year-old Paige Rense Noland will retire this August, according to a press release from parent company Condé Nast. Noland will remain on the masthead as editor emeritus, having grown the magazine from having a readership of 50,000 to now something like 850,000. A legendarily tough — some would even say prickly — defender of herself and her magazine, Rense reportedly bragged about killing off her in-house competition, House & Garden. Said Rense: "I have enjoyed the privilege of editing this great magazine for several decades and now am excited to move on to my next chapter — writing a book that chronicles the remarkable life and career of my late husband, artist Kenneth Noland." A successor has not yet been named.
Paige Rense Noland will retire this August from Architectural Digest, the magazine she has edited for almost 40 years and transformed from a niche trade journal into the world’s preeminent publication of design. Ms. Rense Noland’s retirement was announced today by S.I. Newhouse, Jr., Chairman of Condé Nast. She will remain on the masthead as Editor Emeritus.
“Paige’s devotion to Architectural Digest is extraordinary,” Mr. Newhouse said. “For years she has led her readers into a world of the finest architecture and design, inspiring both professions and pastimes. She has created a legendary magazine, and I am personally proud of the standards she has set.”
Ms. Rense Noland joined Knapp Communications working for Architectural Digest in October 1970 and became Editor-in-Chief in 1975. While there she also became the founding editor of the magazine known today as Bon Appétit. Condé Nast purchased Knapp Communications in 1993. Ms. Rense Noland’s vision to remake Architectural Digest in the tradition of European art books with a focus on decorating, decorators, architects and their clients was swiftly embraced, and under her leadership, the magazine’s circulation grew from 50,000 to over 850,000 today with a total audience of nearly 5 million.
Over the years, Ms. Rense Noland has attracted a host of exclusive, high-profile homes to the pages of Architectural Digest, including an 18-page cover story on the White House of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan; Gore Vidal in Italy; Truman Capote in Bridgehampton; Julia Child in Cambridge; Robert Redford in New York; and the homes of Anjelica Huston, Diane Keaton, Elton John, and Cher in southern California.
In 1990, Ms. Rense Noland introduced the coveted AD 100 list of top international architects and interior designers that is updated and published every few years. To capture the abundance of exceptional talent and keep up with their avant-garde work, Ms. Rense Noland established additional themed issues, including The Architecture Issue, Before & After, Country Houses, Designers’ Own Homes, Exotic Homes Around the World, Hollywood at Home, and People & Places.
Upon the announcement of her departure, Ms. Rense Noland said, “I have enjoyed the privilege of editing this great magazine for several decades and now am excited to move on to my next chapter - writing a book that chronicles the remarkable life and career of my late husband, artist Kenneth Noland.”
In recognition of her contributions to journalism and design, Ms. Rense Noland has received numerous awards, among them: The Museum of Arts & Design Achievement Award (2006); American Academy of Achievement (2000); the Pratt Institute Founders Award (1997); and the Interior Design Hall of Fame (1985). She has edited 12 books related to Architectural Digest, most recently Hollywood at Home and Private Views, is a frequent lecturer, and has hosted symposiums at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and the Museum of the City of New York, as well as other cultural institutions around the country. In 2007, she created Open Auditions to discover residential interior design talent.