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Guide to the Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work, 1960-1963

Collection Overview


Kellen Design Archives

Collection Identifier



Wagenseller, Carolyn Nesbitt


Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work, 1960-1963


0.4 linear ft: 10 folders


The collection consists primarily of lecture notes and course-related notebooks maintained by designer Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller ('63) during her studies in Parsons School of Design's Interior Design Department.

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work, KA.0124, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Biographical Note

Carolyn Ralston Nesbitt Wagenseller studied in the Interior Design Department of Parsons School of Design, receiving her certificate in 1963. In the months between her second and third years of study, Wagenseller participated in what was known as the "Grand Tour," a summerlong study excursion encompassing England, France, Germany and Italy, under the leadership of faculty member Stanley Barrows.

Since her graduation from Parsons School of Design, Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller has designed for Smyth, Urquhart & Marckwald, Inc., and Ellen L. McCluskey Associates, and has owned a firm for which she created wallpapers and textile lines. She also served as manager and buyer for retail stores in Florida and has exhibited artwork.


http://web.mac.com/carolynwag/Parsons_Summer_School/Welcome.html (accessed May 9, 2011) http://www.societydecorator.com/Society_Decorator/Carolyn_Wagenseller_career.html (accessed May 10, 2011)


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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of course notebooks, lecture notes, transcribed letters, and watercolor renderings, as well as a transcription of personal correspondence created during a European tour.

The ungraded lecture notes concern furniture and architectural history. According to Wagenseller, these are museum notes taken during a class taught by Stanley Barrows.

The course notebooks cover the first two semesters of Wagenseller's first year at Parsons School of Design, from the fall of 1960 to late spring of 1961. Notebooks are divided into tabbed sections, labeled "Lectures," "Research," "Tracings," and "Book Reports." Faculty members Robert Castle and James Woodruff appear to have given most of the lectures Wagenseller attended during her first year. Wagenseller's research recorded in the notebooks primarily concerns architecture and includes short reports on modern architects. The notebooks are graded according to the practice at Parsons during this era. Inserted into the notebooks are an exam and small watercolor renderings of home furnishings. A third, untitled notebook possibly represents notes taken during a second-year history class.

Renderings, executed in watercolor, depict perspective drawings and elevations. Several are graded and one includes comments by an unidentified instructor.

The typed, transcribed correspondence consists of Wagenseller's letters to her father and stepmother written during her European tour and is illustrated with digital reproductions of snapshots. This document was created by the donor prior to accessioning by the New School Archives.


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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Kellen Design Archives - September 13, 2011

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

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work, KA.0124, 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

Donated by Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller, 2011.

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Related Materials

The Stanley Barrows papers (KA.0002) in the New School Archives include documentation on the teaching and tour organizing activities of one of Wagenseller's primary teachers at Parsons. The Dero Darwin, Jr. papers (KA.0051) includes work created by a fellow Interior Design student from approximately the same time as Wagenseller.

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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Parsons School of Design. Interior Design Department.


  • Digital images.
  • Drawings.
  • Lecture notes.
  • Notebooks.
  • Renderings.
  • Reports.
  • Student projects.

Personal Name(s)

  • Barrows, Stanley, 1914-1995


  • Architecture -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Europe -- Description and travel.
  • 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 Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/KA0124.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder
Image files 
Lecture notes 
k_12 1
k_12 2-8
k_4 4
Transcribed correspondence 
k_12 9

Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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