+ Expand all text to enable full keyword searching

Guide to the Charles S. Olton records, 1974-1999

Collection Overview

Repository

Parsons Institutional Collections

Collection Identifier

PC.01.07.01

Creator

Olton, Charles S., 1938-

Creator

Parsons School of Design. Office of the Dean.

Title

Charles S. Olton records, 1974-1999, (Bulk, 1989-1997)

Extent

7.7 linear ft: 7 boxes

Language of Materials

All materials in English.

Summary

Consists of records created and received by Charles S. Olton, dean of Parsons School of Design from 1989 until 1997. Includes subject files on committees, departments and programs, events, individuals, international projects, and general administrative issues. Some files are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for details.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Charles S. Olton records, PC.01.07.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Return to Top »


Biographical note

Charles S. Olton succeeded David C. Levy as dean of Parsons School of Design in 1989. Prior to joining the school's administration, he served as dean of the faculty and vice president of academic affairs at Barnard College and held academic and administrative posts at the State University of New York, Buffalo and Union College in Schenectady. Olton earned an MA and a PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and has conducted extensive research on early American architecture, painting and music.

During his tenure at Parsons, Olton oversaw the expansion of the curriculum to include computer technology, developed new degree programs, including the master's in architecture, and increased scholarship and professional internship opportunities. He continued the geographic expansion of Parsons begun by David C. Levy by establishing two new affiliate schools in South Korea and Malaysia, the Samsung Art and Design Institute and the Center for Advanced Design respectively, and strengthened the Altos de Chavon (Dominican Republic) and Paris programs. The Olton administration also engaged in efforts to recruit international students for the school's New York City campus and initiated a program to increase ethnic diversity.

Olton's administration also managed the Parsons Centennial celebration in 1996, physical renovations and the creation of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Archives of Parsons School of Design (later renamed the New School Archives and Special Collections).

Olton resigned as dean of Parsons in 1997 to accept a position as president of the American Symphony Orchestra League. He was succeeded as Parsons's dean by H. Randolph Swearer.

More...

Return to Top »


Scope and Content of Collection

Charles S. Olton created and received these records during his term as dean of Parsons School of Design, the art and design division of The New School.

Files are organized into six areas: General administration, Committee and meeting minutes, Departments and programs, Events, Individuals, and International projects. Within each series, files are arranged alphabetically. File titles were presumably assigned by Olton or his administrative staff.

General administration, the largest series, encompasses administrative functions of the Office of the Dean. Includes records documenting accreditation, admissions and recruitment, development and fund raising, facilities, finance, institutional policy, publicity, student services, and technology.

The Events series includes documentation of art and design exhibitions, fashion shows, and the centennial celebration of Parsons School of Design in 1996.

The Individuals series includes records concerning donors, visiting critics and lecturers, and fellow Parsons School of Design and New School administrators.

The International projects series documents the many study abroad and academic exchange programs Parsons School of Design developed with schools and institutions during Olton's administration.

More...

Return to Top »


Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in 6 series:

  1. General administration, 1974-1999
  2. Committee and meeting minutes, 1986-1997
  3. Departments and programs, 1984-1997
  4. Events, 1989-1997
  5. Individuals, 1989-1997
  6. International projects, 1988-1997

Return to Top »


Administrative Information

Initial processing and description by Jillian Cuellar and Anne Kumer, 2005. Additional description supplied by Jenny Swadosh.

Publication Information

Parsons Institutional Collections - March 15, 2017

66 5th Avenue
lobby
New York, New York
212.229.5942
archivist@newschool.edu

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Charles S. Olton records, PC.01.07.01, box __, folder __, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research use. Files with confidential student information are restricted for 120 years after the person's known or estimated birth. Files detailing faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, hiring information or grievances are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish images of material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Records transferred from the Office of the Dean, Parsons School of Design, 2004.

Processing Information note

These records formerly comprised part of a larger record group of Parsons School of Design deans' and presidents' office records. The New School Archives staff established discrete record groups for individual administrators in 2015.

Return to Top »


Related Materials

The New School Archives holds extensive records documenting the activities of Parsons administrators from the 1950s through the 2000s. Olton's immediate predecessor as dean, David C. Levy's records (PC.01.04.01) as well as Olton's colleague, senior administrator Lesley Cadman's records (PC.01.06.01) are available for research use.

Return to Top »


Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Center for Advanced Design (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
  • Escuela de Diseño (Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic).
  • KIDI Parsons.
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (U.S.).
  • Parsons Paris.
  • Parsons the New School for Design. Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Design Archives.
  • Samsung Art and Design Institute.

Genre(s)

  • Administrative records.
  • Correspondence.
  • Memorandums.
  • Minutes.
  • Reports.

Subject(s)

  • Design | Study and teaching.
  • Universities and colleges -- Accreditation.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.
  • Universities and colleges -- Curricula.
  • Universities and colleges -- Departments.
  • Universities and colleges -- Finance.

Return to Top »


Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Charles S. Olton records, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/PC010701.

Return to Top »


Collection Inventory

Series I. General administration 1974-1999 

Link to selected images from this series.  

Series documents wide-ranging administrative activities. Of particular interest is the correspondence related to the institution of an archival program in 1993, accreditation reviews, self-studies, and records of scholarships, fund raising, and joint projects between design-oriented companies and Parsons School of Design students in the forms of internships and interdisciplinary courses. Series arranged alphabetically. Some items in this series are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Box Folder
Academic Computing, 1989-1995 
1 1-2
Accounting, 1995 
1 3
Admissions, 1991-1996 
1 4
7 (Restricted) 1
Adult Division: New School studio courses, 1992-1994 
1 5
Adult Education Study (Cambridge Group), 1995 
1 6
Advertising, 1994-1996 
1 7
All Japan Fashion Teachers, circa 1995 
1 8
Alumni Relations, 1995 
1 9
Archives, 1993-1997 
1 10
7 (Restricted) 2
Articulation agreements with external schools, 1997 
1 11
Auditorium (Fashion Exhibition Center), 1989, 1995 
1 12
Bard College (Decorative Arts program), 1990-1993 
1 13
Budget, 1994-1998 
1 14-19
7 (Restricted) 3
Building hours, 1994 
1 20
Bursar complaints, 1992-1996 
7 (Restricted) 4
Capital campaign, 1991-1995 
1 21-22
Career Services, 1993-1994, 1996 
1 23
7 (Restricted) 5
Catalog, 1994-1997 
1 24
Center for Media Arts, 1989 
1 25
Certificates, undated 
1 26
Charter, 1974-1983 
1 27
Comite Colbert, 1988-1999 
1 28
7 (Restricted) 6
Computer facility, 1993-1997 
1 29
7 (Restricted) 7
Conde Nast, 1993 
1 30
Corporate identity, 1996 
1 31
Cultural awareness workshop, 1991 
1 32
Design Management Institute, 1994 
1 33
Development, 1996 
1 34
Disabilities, 1994 
1 35
Distance learning, 1994 
1 36
Distinguished visitors program, 1992, 1995 
1 37
Diversity Initiative, 1989-1997 
1 38-39
Diversity Initiative: Unity and Diversity exhibition, 1994-1995, 1997 
1 40
Enrollment, 1994-1995 
1 41
European recruiting, 1994-1995 
1 42
Exhibition Center, 1989-1993 
1 43
Exhibition gallery policy, 1990, 1993 
1 44
Faculty academic leave, 1991-1997 
1 45-46
7 (Restricted) 8
Faculty appointments and reappointments procedures, 1989-1993 
1 47
7 (Restricted) 9
Faculty awards for teaching excellence, 1989-1990 
1 48
Faculty: Full time, 1993-1995 
7 (Restricted) 10
Faculty: Part-time, multi-year appointments, 1992-1996 
1 49
Fan mail, 1991 
2 1
Fashion Exhibition Center, 1996 
2 2
Fees, 1996 
2 3
Fendelman litigation, 1992-1995 
7 (Restricted) 11-17
Financial aid, 1991-1996 
2 4
Find Program, 1994-1995 
2 5
7 (Restricted) 18
Five Year Program, 1996 
2 6
Florence Gould Foundation, 1993-1994 
2 7
Freedom of expression, 1988-1990 
2 8-9
Freeman Foundation, 1995-1996 
2 10
7 (Restricted) 19
Gimbel Library, 1992-1996 
2 11
Grade distribution, 1990-1991 
2 12
Graduate catalog, 1988-1990 
2 13
Grants, 1995 
2 14
Hermes scholarship, 1994-1996 
2 15
Honorary degrees, 1991-1996 
2 16
Ikea scholarship, 1994-1995 
2 17
Income sharing, 1989-1990 
2 18
7 (Restricted) 20
Independent contractors, 1990-1991 
2 19
Interdisciplinary study, 1990, 1992 
2 20
International students, 1990-1991 
2 21
JC Penney, 1990-1991 
2 22
Joan Mitchell Foundation, 1997-1998 
2 33
Kiosk, 1993-1995 
2 23
Kobal MGM Collection, 1995 
2 24
Kresge Foundation, 1989, 1995-1996 
2 25
Masters Fund, 1993 
2 26
Metropolis, 1996 
2 27
Middle States Association, 1986, 1990-1991 
2 28-30
Mission statement, 1990-1991 
2 31-32
Mobility, 1989,1992 
2 34
National Association of Schools of Art, 1980-1981, 1990-1993 
2 35-39
New Initiatives Fund, 1991-1996 
2 40-43
7 (Restricted) 21
New York Lab, 1993 
3 1
Parents, 1989-1997 
7 (Restricted) 22
Parsons name use recognition, 1988-1990 
3 2
Parsons Printmakers Competition, 1992-1997 
3 3
Perry Ellis scholarship, 1991-1996 
3 4
7 (Restricted) 23
Press releases and press list, 1993-1995 
3 5
Professional Design Studies, 1995-1996 
3 6
Public relations, 1993-1994 
3 7
Publication Board, 1995 
3 8
Publication design, 1995-1997 
3 9
7 (Restricted) 24
Registration, 1994 
3 10
Restructuring, 1991-1992 
3 11
7 (Restricted) 25
Retention analysis, 1993-1994 
3 12
7 (Restricted) 26
Revenue, 1994 
3 13
Safety in the Arts, 1995 
3 14
Saks Fifth Avenue, 1994-1995 
3 15
Sexual harassment policy, 1988-1992 
3 16
Simmons College, 1994 
3 17
Smoking policy, 1988-1996 
3 18
7 (Restricted) 27
Society of Illustrators, undated 
3 19
SOPIS [Summer Orientation Program for International Students], 1996 
3 20
Space, 1989, 1992-1997 
3 21-22
Student Affairs, 1989-1995 
3 23
Student letters, 1995 
3 24
Student Services, 1995 
3 25
Studio in a School, 1995 
3 26
Teaching evaluation forms, 1995 
3 27
Technical initiative, 1995-996 
3 28
Timex, 1994 
3 29

Return to Top »

Series II. Committee and meeting minutes 1986-1997 

Series documents the affairs of various committees and councils. Series arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder
Academic Affairs Committee, 1986-1994 
3 30
Alumni Council, 1994-1995 
3 31
Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, 1989-1997 
3 32-35
College Council, 1992-1996 
3 36
Council of Chairs, 1988-1997 
3 37-38
Curriculum Committee, 1991-1995 
3 39
Deans and officers, 1991-1997 
3 40
Department chairs, 1994-1996 
3 41
Faculty Affairs Committee, 1989-1991 
3 42
Photography Advisory Committee, 1988-1995 

Some items in this file are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

3 43-44
7 (Restricted) 28
Planning and programming for Parsons, 1996 
3 45

Return to Top »

Series III. Departments and programs 1984-1997 

Series contains records relating to departments and programs offered by Parsons, including proposals for curriculum changes, inter-office correspondence, student and faculty correspondence, and program summaries. Building renovations, grading policies, faculty appointments, and the introduction of computing technology in many of the departments' curricula in the early 1990s are frequent topics. Also includes records documenting the development and implementation of new degree programs such as the masters in architecture program, and the establishment of the Washington D.C. branch of the History of Decorative Arts program focusing on American arts and functioning jointly with the Smithsonian Institution. Series arranged alphabetically by department or program title. Some items in this series are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Box Folder
AAS Degree Program, 1991-1996 
3 46
7 (Restricted) 29
Architecture (MA), 1990 
3 47-48
Architecture and Environmental Design, 1990-1996 
3 49-50
4 1
7 (Restricted) 30
Architectural Lighting Design (MFA), 1984, 1990-1995 
4 2
Art Education (MA), 1992, 1996 
4 3
7 (Restricted) 31
Art History, 1989-1990 
4 4
Communication Design, 1989-1995 
4 5
7 (Restricted) 32
Continuing Education, 1992-1997 
4 6-10
7 (Restricted) 33
Continuing Education: Computers, 1994 
4 11
Design Marketing, 1994-1997 
4 12
7 (Restricted) 34
Design and Technology (MFA), 1997 
4 13
Digital Design, 1995-1996 
4 14
Fashion and Design Criticism (MA), 1994-1996 
4 15
Fashion Design, undated, 1989-1996 
4 16-18
7 (Restricted) 35
Fashion Design: Computing, 1993-1997 
4 19
Fine Arts, 1990-1997 
4 20
7 (Restricted) 36
Foundation, undated, 1989-1997 
4 21-22
7 (Restricted) 37
Foundation: Computing, 1993-1995 
4 23
Foundation: Curriculum, after 1989, 1993-1995 
4 24-25
7 (Restricted) 38
Graduate programs, 1994 
4 26
History of Decorative Arts (MA), 1990-1996 
4 27-28
7 (Restricted) 39
Illustration, 1989-1996 
4 29
7 (Restricted) 40
Interior Design, 1990-1996 
4 30
Liberal Studies, 1989-1996 
4 31
Photography, 1991-1996 
4 32
7 (Restricted) 41
Product Design, 1990-1997 
5 1-2
7 (Restricted) 42
Special programs, 1995 
5 3
Summer program, 1995 
5 4
Textiles, 1995-1997 
5 5

Return to Top »

Series IV. Events 1989-1997 

This series documents major events that took place during Charles Olton’s tenure, including the planning and funding of the annual fashion show, special exhibitions by faculty and students, and the Parsons Tables fund raising event. Of particular note are documents pertaining to the planning of the Parsons Centennial celebration, and the text of the speech delivered by Olton at the Centennial convocation address. Series arranged alphabetically.

Box Folder
Centennial, 1993-1996 
5 6-8
Commencement, 1994, 1996 
5 9
Fashion shows, 1991-1994, 1996 
5 10-15
Humans All exhibition, 1996 
5 16
Parents' Day, 1989-1990 
5 17
The Parsons Tables fund raising dinners (1994 Feb 8), 1993-1994 

Documents an evening in which donors were invited to attend one of eighteen private dinners hosted by members of the Parsons Board of Governors and others, with special guest appearances by luminaries from the design community. The evening's proceeds were used to help establish the Parsons Design Archives in the Adam & Sophie Gimbel Design Library (now part of the New School Archives and Special Collections).

5 18
Still Working exhibition, 1991-1994 
5 19-20

Return to Top »

Series V. Individuals 1989-1997 

This series consists of communications between the Office of the Dean and individuals, including Parsons and New School administrators, faculty and visiting lecturers. Topics include corporate collaborations, faculty leave, possibilities for future affiliate schools, fund raising, and the planning of a memorial tribute to former faculty member, Stanley Barrows (1914-1995). Files are arranged alphabetically by subject surname. Some items in this series are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Box Folder
Stephane Alix, 1996 
5 21
Amir H. Ameri, 1994 
5 22
Stanley Barrows, 1995 
5 23
Rosalind Cohen, 1992-1995 
5 24
Margaret Dreikhausen,1995 
5 25
Jonathan F. Fanton, 1992-1997 
5 26-28
7 (Restricted) 43
Rainer Gehr, 1994-1995 
5 29
Lee Granger, 1996 
5 30
Margo Herr, 1996 
5 31
Mary Howard, 1996 
5 32
Jay Kreisberg, 1990, 1994 
5 33
Helene La, 1996 
5 34
Eleanor Lambert, 1993 
5 35
David C. Levy, 1990 
5 36
David Mann, 1994 
5 37
Francoise McAree, 1996 
5 38
7 (Restricted) 44
Isaac Mizrahi, 1989-1990 
5 39
Joseph McNally, 1995 
5 40
Achim Moeller, 1990 
5 41
Naoto Nakagawa, 1996 
7 (Restricted) 45
Charlotte Neuville, 1989 
5 42
Helen O'Hagan, 1994 
5 43
Eli Tahari, 1994 
5 44

Return to Top »

Series VI. International projects 1988-1997 

Consists of records related to international projects undertaken or continued during Charles Olton’s tenure. Series primarily focuses on the five schools affiliated with Parsons School of Design—Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic, the Center for Advanced Design in Malaysia, Kanazawa International Design Institute (KIDI) in Japan, Samsung Art and Design Institute (SADI) in Korea, and Parsons Paris in France. Files concerning international affiliate schools include records related to planning, funding, and maintaining these institutions. Other materials include correspondence about international scholarships, collaborative workshops between Parsons and educational institutions, and recruiting strategies. Files are arranged alphabetically by country. Some items in this series are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Box Folder
Albania, 1994 
5 45
Asian affiliations, 1992-1996 
5 46
Brazil, 1995-1997 
5 47
Bulgaria, 1990-1995 
5 48
Chile, 1996-1998 
5 49
7 (Restricted) 46
China, 1988-1997 
5 50-51
Dominican Republic (Altos de Chavon), 1994-1996 
5 52
France (American University), 1989-1994 
5 53
France (Parsons Paris), 1991-1996 
5 54-56
6 1-5
7 (Restricted) 47-50
Germany, 1996 
6 6
Guatemala, 1992 
6 7
India, 1996 
6 8
Japan (Kanazawa International Design Institute), 1991-1996 
6 9
7 (Restricted) 51
Korea (Samsung Art and Design Institute), 1993-1997 
6 10-17
7 (Restricted) 52
Malaysia (Center for Advanced Design), 1995-1997 
6 18-27
7 (Restricted) 53-57
Malaysia: Preka Management, 1996 
6 28
Mexico, 1995 
6 29
Peru, 1995 
6 30
Singapore, 1992-1995 
6 31
South Africa, 1993-1994 
6 32
Spain, 1996 
6 33
Sweden, 1996 
6 34
Taiwan, 1990-1992, circa 1995 
6 35
Thailand, 1996 
6 36

Return to Top »

Collection Guide Last Updated: 04/12/2017

Creative Commons License This collection guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.