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Guide to the Anthony Pellino student work, 1982-1986

Collection Overview


Kellen Design Archives

Collection Identifier


Creator - Designer

Pellino, Anthony


Anthony Pellino student work, 1982-1986


1.5 linear ft: 1 oversize box, 3 oversize folders

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Anthony Pellino student work, KA.0104, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical note

A Benjamin Franklin Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, Anthony Pellino studied Environmental Design from 1983 through 1985 at Parsons School of Design. He was awarded a BFA with honors from Parsons in 1986, and went on to earn a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. He trained and worked with a number of architects and interior designers, including Stanley Jay Friedman, Eric J. Smith, and David Anthony Easton, holds National Council of Interior Design (NCIDQ) certification, and is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Pellino has his own interior design firm in New York City. His work has been featured in British Elle Decoration,  New York magazine,  Interior Design and  Architectural Digest.

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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of examples of Anthony Pellino's student art and design work, the bulk of which was completed in 1983, in his first year at Parsons. The notes that appear throughout the collection guide were compiled from notes made by Pellino at the time that he donated his work to the New School Archives.

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Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in one series alphabetically by project and type of work.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives - September 28, 2010

66 5th Ave./
lobby level
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Anthony Pellino student work, KA.0104, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research use. 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

Donated by Anthony Pellino in 2009 and 2010.

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Related Materials

Researchers may also wish to consult the New School Archives’ additional holdings of student work from the Interior Design and Environmental Design Departments in Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions) (PC.02.01.01) and Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools (PC.02.01.02).

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Parsons School of Design. Environmental and Interior Design Department.


  • Student projects.


  • Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Interior decoration -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Anthony Pellino student work, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0104.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder
Drafting exercises, 1983-1984 

Examples of the basics of hand-drafting assignments during the period Pellino attended Parsons. The rectangular object with the cross recurs often. Pellino writes: "In the '80s religious kitsch was very much in the atmosphere and this idea meshed nicely with the need for freedom and transgression that often occurs within young people from middle class families when they leave home for the first time."

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Drawings, between 1983-1985 

Examples from drawing classes Pellino took over the course of various semesters at Parsons. Pellino found the process of learning to draw from life quite challenging. "At the time we were encouraged by our instructors to draw loosely," Pellino writes. "Although I was not fully conscious of it at the time, the theme I was exploring in many of these projects had to do with being educated within the context of modernism while still attempting to grasp traditional forms, techniques and ideas."

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Prints, 1982 

Pellino created this traditional intaglio and aquatint print work before he started his Foundation year at Parsons.

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Project assignments and senior show announcement, 1983, 1986 
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Projects 1983-1985 
A Place for Writing, 1983-1984 

This first year project consisted of three plates: a series of context photos arranged in a grid, a plan study, and a loose perspective drawing (the perspective is not included here). Pellino's intention was to express the tension between memory (embodied in both the written word and the site, which held personal significance for him), the ephemeral nature of constructed environments, and the sense that "over time all writing, all memory and all building will disappear."

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Banco Popolare di Verona: Analysis drawing and prints, 1984 

A first-year drawing exercise for students to hone their skills working with color media, this assignment involved selecting a documented interior space that made use of color. Pellino chose Carlo Scarpa's Banco Populare di Verona, making a series of intaglio prints that capitalized upon the skills he'd learned the year before he started the degree program at Parsons. He used etching, aquatint and drypoint, later hand-coloring some of them in watercolor. "The large interpretive drawing was less successful," explains Pellino, "perhaps because my research and documentation of the actual space were not complete. Lacking an understanding of Scarpa’s concept I developed a loose interpretation and rendered it in mixed media."

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Electric Vaticans, 1983-1984 

In the 1980s, Pellino writes, "artists and designers were exploring kitsch as a way to infuse humor into their work as well as to force a kind of freshness into design," which they felt tended toward the polite and staid. Pellino followed suit in this first year project, using a Roman Catholic icon in a transgressive fashion as the façade of a tacky souvenir store on Sixth Avenue. Pellino's project was poorly received by his instructor, who Pellino believed "was not ready to give up on good taste just then."

k_OSxxx-5 [student work] 3
House for a Computer Family, 1983-1984 
k_OSxxx-5 [student work] 4
House for a Filmmaker, 1985 

A second year project, this house was sited on the roof of Laurie Hawkinson and Henry Smith-Miller’s residence at the crossroads of Mercer and Howard Streets in New York City. As in other projects, Pellino wanted to explore the theme of the new American family (the clients were two women in a committed relationship). Of the project Pellino writes: "At the time, certain designers were using very heavy, patinated industrial materials such as cast iron plates, cor-ten steel, etc. in their work. . . I scoured SoHo to find contextual materials that could be used in this building, coming up with diamond-plate steel of various patterns (hence the charcoal rubbings) and bullet glass used in vault lights. At first I had planned to make the building a kind of projector from which films would be projected onto a screen set on a rooftop across the street. The project did not gel until I envisioned the structure as a kind of brutal tower silhouetted against the western sky strongly visible from the axis of Howard Street. It ultimately became an introverted building in which the contemplation that filmmaking requires would be embodied."

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House for the New American Family ("Middle America Fails"), 1984 

In this first year project, students were asked to produce loose sketches as a way to conceptualize more complex designs. Pellino created a simple timeline for each member of an imagined nuclear family, using graphite on paper and collage elements. Pellino started out intending a humorous theme (the cleric, ostensible head of this new-fashioned family, studies nuclear arms), but the final project was far darker. Pellino writes: "Living in New York had exposed me to some rather detached characters who had essentially transformed personal space into money-making space . . . I conceptualized a family unified only through the common goal of money-making, so mesmerized by this process that they were oblivious to the process of decay built into the architecture. Over time and through their own blindness to their environment, the house--detailed to encourage water infiltration and the growth of trees in the masonry--would collapse around them."

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k_OSxxx-5 [student work] 5
Park for Lower Seventh Avenue, 1983 

This first-year assignment was to select a challenging public site in Manhattan and design a solution to improve the space. Pellino chose a small site in a part of Greenwich Village that had very little park space. The side wall of a townhouse adjacent to the site faced Seventh Avenue and acted as a billboard. Pellino's solution to the assignment was to create a small garden memorial to the many Village residents who were ill or were dying of AIDS. The looming wall provided a map to help visitors find their way through the Village's tangle of streets. "I was very impressed when a fellow student presented a final submittal in front of us all that stated there was no viable solution for his site," Pellino writes.

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Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, 1984 

A quick study project assigned in Pellino's second year. The actual memorial in lower Manhattan was either under construction or had just been completed. The charcoal sketches here express the concept of a central pentagonal monument with facets facing each borough of New York City, with glass walls radiating out toward the birthplaces of those lost. Includes a copy of the measured drawing done for the final presentation.

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Woodlawn Cemetery: Analysis of Untermeyer Gravesite, 1983 

In this first year drafting project Pellino analyzed a gravesite at Woodlawn Cemetery, a place he enjoyed visiting. He selected a moderne-era monument: "The design of the site is very simple, but grand," Pellino writes. The groundskeepers provided him with a copy of the site plan, which Pellino used to model a vault in which he placed a miniature skeleton. For the class presentation, he adopted the persona of an undertaker.

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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