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Guide to the New School Art Collection records, 1986-2003

Collection Overview


New School Collections

Collection Identifier



The New School Art Collection.


New School Art Collection records, 1987-2003


3.8 linear ft: 4 boxes

Language of Materials


Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School Art Collection records, NS.03.05.03, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Kathleen Goncharov, who was curator of the New School Art Collection from 1987 until 2000, received a BA in fine art in 1974 and an MA in history in 1975, both from Central Michigan University, and an MMP degree in museum practice from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1979. Before accepting the position of curator of the New School Art Collection, Goncharov was director of exhibitions at Creative Times, Inc. Goncharov was the commissioner of the United States pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale, for which she invited Fred Wilson to represent the United States with his exhibition, "Speak of Me as I am.”

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While the New School had been commissioning and collecting art from as early as 1931, the New School Art Collection was formally established in 1960 with a multi-year donation by Albert and Vera List, through the Albert A. List Foundation. The Lists were longtime patrons of the New School and members of the New School Associates, a group which programmed events and raised funds for the school. Vera List (1908-2002), who sat on the New School Board of Trustees, became the first chair of the New School University Art Collection. The first curator of the collection was Paul Mocsanyi, director of the New School Art Center, shortly after the founding of the Center. Mocsanyi retired as director of the Art Center in 1976 but remained curator of the art collection until 1985. According to documents in the New School Art Center records (NS.03.05.02), by 1976 the New School owned 135 artworks, which included murals by José Clemente Orozco, Thomas Hart Benton, Camilo Egas, and the mosaic by Gonzalo Fonseca, created for the New School's 66 West Twelfth Street building, as well as sixty-one works on extended loan to the New School. The New School Art Collection file in the New School Art Center records (NS.03.05.02) documents a flurry of donations of art to the New School in the early 1980s, as well as efforts led by Mocsanyi to auction and sell work from the collection. This file also documents development of policy for the collection, including defining the duties of curator and characterizing the nature and driving principles for expanding the collection. Vera List remained deeply invested in the art collection for forty years. Named a life trustee of the New School in 1985, documentation shows her going on frequent gallery trips in the 1990s with Kathleen (Kathy) Goncharov, Mocsanyi's successor as curator, to purchase works that she would then donate to the New School.

Unlike many other university or college art collections, which primarily exhibit artwork in dedicated gallery space, the New School Art Collection has always been installed in the lobbies, hallways, classrooms and offices across campus, as well as in the president's residence. While this may have arisen out of necessity--there have always been competing demands for space at the school--it was also fundamental to the intention behind the collection, to encourage New School students' interrogation of the social value and function of art as integral to developing their understanding the contemporary world. For many years, the New School Art Collection also ran a student art lending program, initiated by Vera List, that made it possible for students to borrow works from the collection to hang in their dormitory rooms over the course of the school year.

After her appointment as curator in 1987, Kathy Goncharov began to more clearly articulate the collecting mission and to systematically build the art collection. The goal was now to build a collection of new, cutting edge, provocative works by emerging younger artists. Other documents in these files evidence Goncharov's interest in promoting under-represented artists and artists of color. This focus played a great part in shaping the development of the collection from at least the 1990s onwards, and also influenced Vera List's purchases for the collection. After selling many older artworks and replacing them with contemporary work that fit the honed mission, Goncharov built the collection from approximately two hundred works in 1987 to include more than a thousand works by the mid-1990s.

The New School Art Collection has long been under the oversight of the Board of Trustees of the university, with a succession of board subcommittes advising its daily operation throughout the 1990s. From around 1994, the Art Collection fell under the auspices of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics. Although Goncharov's position never became formally part of the Center, Goncharov collaborated closely with Sondra Farganis, director of the Vera List Center, on grant writing, event organization, and representing the collection online. She was also responsible for organizing special programs about contemporary art in close collaboration with the Center.

In 1996, as part of early efforts to explore the pedagogical promise of the "world wide web," the New School launched a website for the Art Collection as part of its DIAL (Distance Instruction for Adult Learning) platform. This project was part of a larger effort to align the work of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and the Art Collection, with the pedagogical mission of the school.

Kathy Goncharov left her post as curator in 2000 (see her farewell remarks, box 2, folder 53), and was succeded by Stefano Basilico. The announcement of Basilico's appointment and his plans for the collection will be found in a memorandum in the General folder (Box 1, folder 3).


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Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists primarily of the files of Kathleen Goncharov, curator of the New School Art Collection from 1987 to 2000. Some committee files here were created in 1986 and a few files date from after 2000. Those files dating after the summer of 2000 were likely not created by Goncharov; they may have been created by her successor, Stefano Basilico.

There are two main series, Administration and governance, and Programming. The first series contains materials related to New School Art Collection policies and committees, the acquisition and sale of artwork, inventories and installation of work, collaborations with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, grant proposals, and other administrative files. The series also includes files related to special programs and events from around the New School.

The Programming series contains documentation of events, talks, exhibitions and public programs initiated and organized by Goncharov at the New School. The series also includes documentation of activities proposed by Goncharov and Sondra Farganis for the DIAL (Distance Instruction for Adult Learning) platform.


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Arrangement note

Organized in two series:

  1. Administration and governance
  2. Programming

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Administrative Information

Collection processed by Agnes Szanyi.

Publication Information

New School Collections - December 9, 2016

66 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY, 10011

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], New School Art Collection records, NS.03.05.03, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Note

Collection is open for research use, except for the audiovisual recordings described below. The New School Archives will digitize audiovisual materials for researchers willing to pay a digitization fee. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Use Note

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

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

These records were selected by Silvia Rocciolo, curator of the New School Art Collection, from the files in the Art Collection office, and transferred to the New School Archives in 2016.

Processing Information note

A floppy disk included in the "Inventories before and after 1987" file has been removed for processing.

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Related Materials

Documents regarding the New School Art Collection prior to 1985 will be found in the New School Art Center records (NS.03.05.02).

The Independent Study Oral History Project on New School History (NS070102) includes an oral history interview with Vera List Center director Sondra Farganis: http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/NS070102_Farganis_20130409

The Vera List Center of Art and Politics audiovisual collection (NS.07.02.03) holds audio recordings of the "Considering Joseph Beuys" symposium, as well as video recordings from the series, "On-Line Art World: A Work in Progress."


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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Vera List Center for Art and Politics.


  • Curating.


  • Administrative records.

Personal Name(s)

  • Goncharov, Kathleen
  • List, Vera


  • Art centers.
  • Art collections.
  • Art -- Exhibitions.
  • Art -- Study and teaching.
  • Universities and colleges -- Administration.

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Collection Inventory

Series I. Administration and governance 1986-2003 

Box Folder
General, 1987-2000 
1 1-3
Acquisitions and gifts 
General, 1994-2000 
1 4-5
Book donation, 1998 
1 6
Campaign for art gifts, 1991-1992 

Includes pitch letters, thank-yous, proposed donations, and documentation of resuts.

1 7-8
Diker family gifts, 1994-1995 

Includes two photographs of artworks.

1 9
Gift policies, 1994-1996 
1 10-11
Greenblatt, Bette H. gift, 1995 
n_10 1
Jacobson, Steven M. gift, 1993-1994 
1 12
Kellen, Stephen M. loan, 1990-1991 

Includes eight photographs of artworks.

1 13
Levinson, Barbara gift, 1995 
1 14
Possible acquisitions, international art, 1992 

Includes slide of an artwork.

1 15
Budget, 1991, 1998-2000 
1 16-17
Coe, Sue, mural, 1994 

Correspondence here documents a proposal for a commission to have printmaker and painter Sue Coe create a mural at the New School. The commission did not come to pass.

1 18

The committee names and functions related to the Art Collection fluctuated over the course of the period covered here. It has not been determined whether each new name signifies an entity inheriting responsibilities from another committee, or whether each name indicates a committee with a discrete set of responsibilities from the others.

Acquisition Committee, 1992-1999 
1 19-21
Advisory Committee, 2000-2002 

This file was created after Goncharov left the Art Collection, probably by Stefano Basilico.

1 22
Art Committee, 1986-1994 
1 23-26
Arts Deans meeting agendas, 1996 
1 27
Arts Task Force, 1994-1996 
1 28
Committee on University Art Collection minutes and guidelines, 1994-2003 
1 29-31
Educational Policy Committee, 1992-2000 
1 32
University Committee on the Arts handout, 1991-1996 
1 33-34
Computer and e-mail account, 1997-1998 
1 35
Diversity: "Misinterpreted Art," Choctaw Nickel, 1994-1995 

Includes a description and materials related to a newly purchased artwork, Robert Colescott's "Choctaw Nickel."

1 36
Diversity: "Morir por Amor: Latinas and AIDS," 1999 

This New School event wasn't directly organized by Kathy Goncharov, but it seems she helped to promote it.

1 37
Funding ideas, 1993-1994 
1 38
Goncharov, Kathleen, 1997-2000 

These files relate to Goncharov's activities outside of the New School, such as her role as trustee of the Sculpture Center.

Art programs and seminars, 1997 
1 39
Holocaust panel, 1997-1998 
1 40
Jouve, Valérie, circa 2000 
1 41
Sculpture Center, 1998 
1 42
Grants and foundations 
American Association of Museums Museum Assessment Program grant, 1999 
1 43
Andy Warhol Foundation, 1990 
1 44
Chase Neighborhood Grant Application, 1990 
1 45
Federal Archives Building Fund, 1990-1991 
1 46
Greenwall Foundation, 1993-1995 
1 47
Judith Rothschild Foundation, 1993 
1 48
Lannan Foundation, 1990 
1 49
National Endowment for the Arts Millenium proposal, 1997 
1 50
New York State Council on the Arts, 1990-1991 
1 51
Pace Roberts Foundation for Contemporary Art, 1995-2003 

Includes a set of slides of works by various artists.

2 1
Gund, Aggie, 1991 
2 2
Inside the New School staff meeting presentation, probably 1993 
2 3
Installation of collection 
General, 1991-1999 
2 4-5
55 West Thirteenth Street, 1995 
2 6
Computer Center, 1996 
2 7
Courtyard move, storage, 1996-1997 
2 8
Fanton, Jonathan residence, 1988 
2 9
Installation inventory, approximately 1995 

Includes information regarding the buildings at 66 West Twelfth Street, 65 Fifth Avenue, and 55 West Thirteenth Street.

2 10
Labels and location lists, undated, 1988-1991 
2 11-14
Levinson Center renovation, Graduate Faculty building, 1994 
2 15
Mannes College of Music, 1998 
2 16
Student Center, 1991 
2 17
University student residence, 1994 
2 18
Inventories before and after 1987, 1989-2001 

A floppy disk from this file has been removed for processing.

2 19-22
Kerrey, Bob, 2001 
2 23
Matisse portrait of Dorothy Hirshon, 1999 
2 24
National Arts Policy 1993, 1990-1993 
2 25
"NEA TAPES," 1995-1996 

Contains Goncharov's correspondence with Paul Lamarre and Melissa Wolf, producers of an anthology of video interviews about the National Endowment for the Arts. The program included an interview with New School President Jonathan F. Fanton discussing the New School's lawsuit against NEA restraints on artists' freedom of expression.

2 26
Parsons Exhibition Committee, circa 2000-2002 
2 27
Proposed programs, 1994 
2 28
Retreat, 1994 
2 29
Schwartz, Eric, 1998 
2 30
Schwartz, Gene, 1994 
2 31
Seligman, Paul, 2000 
n_10 2
Lists of slides and photographs of works, undated 

Lists of slides probably of works in the collection.

2 32
Special events and programs, 1993-1998 

These folders contain flyers and announcements for special events occuring around the New School.

2 33-39
Student Art Lending Program, 1997-1999 
2 40
Sur Rodney Sur, 1998 
2 41
Systematic Fine Art Inc. storage, 1997 
2 42
Vera List Center for Art and Politics 

The New School Art Collection operated under the Vera List Center for Art and Politics for several years in the 1990s. During that time, Kathy Goncharov and Sondra Farganis, director of the Vera List Center, collaborated closely on programming and grant writing.

Advisory Committee meeting minutes, 1994-2000 
2 43-53
Grant proposal, 1995 
2 54
Planning and organization, 1994 
2 55-56
White Columns Brazilian conference, 1994 
2 57
"Year of Seeing" student competition jury, 2001 
2 58

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Series II. Programming 1995-2000 

Goncharov's original task as curator of the Art Collection was to manage the collection and the Student Art Lending Program. When she started to work in closer collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics in 1994, her role expanded to include organizing special programs and events.

Box Folder
AICA (International Association of Art Critics) Congress: Northern Ireland, Belfast, Derry, 1997 
2 59
"Art and Identity," Lisa Farrington, 1997-1998 
2 60
ArtsLink: East Central Europe, 1994-1995 
2 61
"Considering Joseph Beuys" symposium 

A week-long symposium, April 3-8, 1995 organized by Goncharov, made possible partly by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). The event series included lectures, panel discussions, and film and video screenings. The Vera List Center of Art and Politics audiovisual collection (NS.07.02.03) holds audio recordings of the event.

General, 1994 
n_10 3
Biographies and correspondence with participants, 1994-1995 
2 62-63
3 1-2
n_10 4-5
Budget, 1994-1995 
3 3-4
Bulletin copy, 1995 
3 5
Correspondence, 1994-1995 
n_10 6
Exhibitions, 1995 
3 6
Film and video program, 1995 
3 7
Gabriella De Ferrari's dinner, 1995 
3 8
Goethe House, 1994-1995 
3 9
Poster, 1985 
n_OSxx-2 1
Publicity: Kreisberg Group, 1994-1995 
3 10
Videotaping, 1995 
3 11
World Policy Institute, Graduate Faculty, 1994 
3 12
"Cultural Capital, Cultural Labor," 2000 
3 13
DIAL (Distance Instruction for Adult Learning), 1996-2000 

DIAL was an online learning program at The New School. Goncharov and Sondra Farganis proposed several related programs and an online gallery of the works from the collection.

"Art Wired" 

Documentation of Goncharov's proposal, fundraising and documentation for the Art Wired program, which was a direct webcast of the Venice Biennale, documenta x, Sculpture Projects in Munster and the Johannesburg Biennale for the DIAL participants. Goncharov attended these events with Robert Ransick, director of the New School's Photography Department.

Budget and timetable, probably 1997 
3 14
Documenta, Sculpture Projects Münster, Venice Biennial, 1997 
3 15-19
Johannesburg Biennial, 1997 
3 20-21
Letters, sponsors and current proposals, 1997 
3 22
Mary's notes, probably 1997 

It is not clear who 'Mary' was, most probably she travelled together with Goncharov to Europe for the art events mentioned in thes subseries. Contains slides of various artworks.

3 23
Proposal, budget, 1997 
3 24
CD-ROM proposal, 1998-1999 
3 25
Collection on Internet, 1995-1996 
3 26
Gallery update, 1999-2000 
3 27
Technology Initiative Fund, 1996 
3 28
Website, 2000 
3 29
Downtown Arts Festival, 1997 

Includes photograph of a poster for the event.

3 30
"Edge of Awareness" symposium, 1998 
3 31
"Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin, 1950s-1980s," 1998-1999 
3 32
"Home: A Place in the World," 1990 
3 33
Kaihatsu, Yoshiaki: Asian Cultural Council, 1999 
3 34
Kaprow, Allan, 1998 
3 35
"On-Line Art World: A Work in Progress" series, 1999 

Video records from this series will be found in the Vera List Center for Art and Politics collection (NS.07.02.03).

3 36
"Orozco #48 and #49," undated 

Two sixty-minute Betacam tapes.

3 37-38
Parsons School of Design exhibition of works from New School Art Collection, 1990 
3 39
"Troubles: Murals in Northern Ireland," 1997-1998 
3 40

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Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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