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Guide to the Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions), 1914-2009

Collection Overview


Parsons Institutional Collections

Collection Identifier



Parsons School of Design.


Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions), 1914-2009, (Bulk, 1975-2005)


20.6 linear ft: 9 boxes, 5 oversize boxes, 6 oversize folders

Language of Materials



Collection contains materials created by academic departments of Parsons School of Design. In addition to documentation of Parsons' main campus in New York City, Includes materials originating from overseas facilities and affiliate schools, such as Otis Art Institute (California), Paris Ateliers/Parsons Paris, and Altos de Chavon (Dominican Republic).

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions), PC.02.01.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

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Historical note

American artist William Merritt Chase established Parsons School of Design in 1896 as the Chase School of Art. While founded as a school of fine arts instruction, it soon added courses in "applied arts," which became the primary focus under the direction of Frank Alvah Parsons. The name of the school changed several times, to the New York School of Art in 1902, then to the New York School of Fine and Applied Art in 1909. In 1940, the Board of Trustees voted to change the school's name to Parsons School of Design in recognition of Frank Alvah Parsons' leadership and to differentiate it from other, similarly named institutions.

In 1921, Parsons School of Design's European School opened with headquarters in France called the Paris Ateliers. The Ateliers closed in 1939 due to the escalation of World War II, and never reopened in its pre-war form. Summer study tours of Europe resumed in the late 1940s. When Parsons School of Design affiliated with the New School for Social Research in 1970, students could for the first time earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New School (before the merger, students earned either a certificate for a three-year program of study at Parsons, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree granted by New York University, by taking courses at both schools). A more robust, year-round overseas program resumed at Parsons in the late 1970s under the leadership of Dean David C. Levy. The 1970s also saw the growth of continuing education programs at Parsons, and the introduction of an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree track. In the 1980s, Parsons developed a number of partnerships with international schools, and launched a short-lived merger between Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The first Parsons graduate program was established at Parsons in 1978, in Fine Arts, with masters programs in other areas added in subsequent years, including a Master of Architecture program begun in 1989. The 2000s saw an increase in the number of graduate programs at Parsons, with new programs introduced nearly every year.


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Scope and Content of Collection

Records consist of materials documenting the activities of various departments, programs, and affiliated schools historically associated with Parsons School of Design. Documents include postcards advertising student and faculty exhibitions; printed programs for exhibitions, lecture series, and other events sponsored by departments; samples of student work, including publications and videos created by students and their instructors; and catalogs or other promotional materials created to advertise a specific unit. The collection is not comprehensive and consists predominantly of printed materials.

This collection was closed to further additions in 2009. Any newly acquired materials, even those created in the years covered by this collection, will be found in a successor collection, Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools (ongoing) (PC.02.01.02).

The records are arranged alphabetically by department, program or school name. Individual programs or departments are associated with the school they were a part of during the period that the materials were created, which may or may not reflect the organization of departments at Parsons School of Design as of 2016.


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Organization and Arrangement

Organized alphabetically by department or program name.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Parsons Institutional Collections - August 8, 2016

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], [date (if known)], Parsons School of Design academic departments, programs and schools collection (pre-2009 accessions), PC.02.01.01, box __, folder __, New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, New York.

Access Restrictions

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

Collection compiled by the staff of the New School Archives from multiple accessions, including some materials received by the archives with unclear provenance.

Processing Information note

Electronic files have not yet been processed. Please contact archivist@newschool.edu for further details.

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Related Materials

Several record groups more fully document individual departments than the materials contained within this collection: the Parsons School of Design Fashion Design Department records (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.02.02.01), Parsons School of Design Product Design Department records (PC.02.03.01), and Parsons School of Design Graphic Design Department student work (PC.02.12.01). Additionally, more recent accessions will be found in the continuation of this collection, PC.02.01.02.

Posters advertising departmental events or the department itself for admissions purposes will be found in the Parsons School of Design poster collection (pre-2007) (PC.05.07.01), and catalogs for select departmental exhibitions will be found in the Exhibitions and public programs collection (NS.05.03.01). Photographs taken to illustrate departmental activities for promotional purposes will be found in the Parsons School of Design photograph collection (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.04.01.01).

The Parsons School of Design Centenary oral history project (PC.07.01.01), conducted in 1994 by art historian Martica Sawin, includes interviews with various faculty members who taught at Parsons School of Design during the years covered by this collection.


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Keywords for Searching Related Subjects

Corporate Name(s)

  • Escuela de Diseño (Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic).
  • KIDI Parsons.
  • Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design.
  • Paris Ateliers.
  • Parsons Paris.
  • Samsung Art and Design Institute.


  • Advertisements.
  • Measured drawings.
  • Pamphlets.
  • Student projects.


  • Art -- Study and teaching -- New York (State) -- New York -- 20th century.
  • Exhibitions.
  • Student newspapers and periodicals -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Universities and colleges -- Departments.

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Other Finding Aids note

For selected item-level description and images from the Academic departments, programs and schools (pre-2009 accessions), see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/PC020101.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder Box DVD-case
General, 1914-2004 
Student exhibition announcements and programs, 1914-1986 
1 1-7
Student work from exhibition, "My God! We're Losing a Great Country," 1970 

Includes most of the original artwork presented by Parsons School of Design students in the 1970 exhibition, My God! We’re Losing a Great Country. Mounted in lieu of classes as an act of solidarity with the National Student’s Strike against the Kent State massacre, artwork from every department demonstrates efforts to promote socially conscious art. Includes work by Ray Fost, Posy Jackson, Frieda Kohn, Nancy Stewart, Melissa Wentzell, Bari Gerber, and unidentified artists. Exhibition catalog will be found in the New School exhibitions and public programs collection (NS.05.03.01).

OSxxx-1 1-8
p_1 2-3
p_OSx-2 6
September 11 Memorial student art project, circa 2001 
2 1
AAS and Continuing Education exhibitions, 1988-2006 
1 8
PIC disks 3 21
AAS Fashion Design fashion show, 2000 
PIC disks 1 11
Altos de Chavon, 1983-1997, 2002 
1 9
Apprenticeship program, 1977-1978 
1 10
Architecture, Environmental Design, Interior Design and Lighting Design, 1984-2007 

Please consult PC.02.04.1 for Architecture and Design Criticsm and Lighting Design master's theses.

Architectural Program Report Submitted to the National Architectural Accrediting Board, 1993 Aug 13 
1 15-16
Architecture and Design Criticism catalog, 1990 
1 12
Architecture and Design Criticism graduate program prospectus, 1989 
1 11
Architecture and Environmental Design BFA curriculum, 1995-1998, undated 
1 13-14
City Spaces [publication], 2000 
1 17
Design Workshops, 2005-2006 
1 18
Exhibitions and events, 1979, 1984-2006 
1 20-22
Promotional materials and catalogs, 1985, 2004 
1 23
Scapes (Number 1-3, 5-7), 2002-2008 
1 24-26
p_4 10-12
Art Education and Teacher Training, 1937-1944 
1 27
Art Education and Teacher Training, 1991, 1997-2003 
1 28
Art Education: Bank Street College summer programs brochures, 1986-1991 
1 29
Art Education: Bank Street College summer programs catalogs and illustrated yearbook, 1978-1980 
1 30
Center for Advanced Design, undated 
1 31
Center for New Design, 1999-2003 
1 32
Communication Design, 1978-2005 
General, 1941, 1981, 1991-2005 
1 33
American Stock Exchange Annual Report [publication], 1983 
1 34
Art & Science of Digital Printing: Parsons Guide to Getting it Right [books in two editions], 2004-2005 
3 1
Card set featuring graduating students, 2002 
3 2
Cipe Pineles Scholarship, 1983 
3 3
Exhibitions: Unity and Diversity, circa 1994 

Exhibition catalog will be found in the New School exhibitions and public programs collection (NS.05.03.01).

3 7
Exhibitions and events, 1986-2006 
3 4
Foresite [graduate student directory], 2001 
3 5
Parsons Iron-On-Art [book], 1978 
p_2 1
Pieces [student publication], 1984 
3 6
Student work: Photography project for Nathaniel Lieberman's class, 1979 
Crafts, 1978, 1982, undated 
3 8
Critical Studies, 2003, 2005 
3 9
Design and Management, 2000-2007 
Promotional materials, 2000-2003, undated 
3 10
Senior thesis presentations, 2004-2006 
3 11-12
Stephan Weiss [memorial book], 2002 
3 13-14
Stephan Weiss Memorial Lecture Series postcards, 2004-2007 
3 15
Design and Technology, 1997-2006 
Exhibition cards, 2003 
3 16
Exhibitions and program materials, 1999-2006 
3 17
Promotional materials, 1997 
3 18
Student projects DVD, 2005 
PIC disks 1 10
Student work: Swimming, 2004 

A short video made in collaboration with the Actors Studio Drama School and New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music Program/Faculty: Karen Nourse.

PIC disks 1 9
Design Marketing, 1984-1999 
General, 1984-1999 
3 19
Catalogs, 1985-1989 
3 20
Unwrap the Future [publication], 1999 
3 21
Wear-Dated Trend Study [photocopy of publication only], 1998 
3 22
Digital Design, 1996-2000 
3 23
Environmental Design, 1971-2005 
Annual Environmental Design Award Dinner, 1984 
3 24
Cross-Currents [student publication], 1990 
3 25
Curriculum information and reports, 1991, undated 
3 26
Eco-Habitat: Process and Development [Envision Project publication], 2003 
3 27
Environmental Context [publication], 1980 
3 28
Furniture in 24 Hours by Spiros Zakas and students [book], 1976 
3 29
Madden, Kathy student work files, 1971-1976 

Course materials created, collected and received by Kathy Madden while she was a student in the Environmental Design Department between 1971 and 1974. Course documents are arranged chronologically by semester and within each semester by class. Materials document the Union Square Project and the Eatons Neck Community Development Project under the direction of instructor Archie Kaplan, among other projects. Two folders contain research reports, supplementary materials, and drafts of a report written for an EN350 assignment, Community Participation in Park Development, under the guidance of Jean McClintock (Gardner) and Peter Wolf. The student report, entitled People and Parks: A Guide to Community Participation, was written by Madden, John Lijewski, Kim Umbreit, and Barbara Blumin. A letter dated 1976 indicates that the partners continued working on the report following their respective graduations. Soon after graduating Parsons, Madden co-founded Project for Public Spaces in New York City, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities.

p_3 1-6
MUEE: Mapping Urban Emergency , 2005 
3 30
PIC disks 1 12
PIC disks 2 28
Parsons Projects [cards from senior exhibition], 1992 
3 31
Urban Contextual Analysis [publication], 1982 
3 32
Fine Arts, 1970-2006 
Curriculum reports and self-study, 1991-1997 
4 1
General, 1976-2006 
4 2-3
BFA senior thesis, 2004-2005 
3 33
MFA thesis, 2002-2004 
4 7
MFA thesis: Primed, 2005 
4 8
MFA catalogs, 1970-1990 
4 4-6
Printmaking, 2000-2001 
4 9
Promotional materials, 1971, 1978, undated 
4 10
Student and faculty work 1976-1995 
Faculty Print portfolio, 1976-1977 
p_OSxxx-1 1-3
Print portfolio, 1979 
p_2 2
Printmakers [2 sets], 1990 
Printmakers, 1993 
Printmakers, 1994 
p_OSx-2 7
Printmakers [2 sets], 1995 
Foundation Program: Course and curriculum material, 1975, 1991-1995 
4 11
Foundation Program: Exhibitions, 1977, 1987-2002 
4 12
Graphic Design: Yearbook, 1971 
4 13
p_OSxx-1 1
History of Decorative Arts, 1993-2007 

A selection of master's theses produced in this program will be found in PC.02.04.01.

4 14
History of Decorative Arts: Catalogs, 1982, 1992-1995 
4 15
Illustration, 1975-2006 
9/11 NYC Aftermath Project, 2001 
4 16
Bad Dog [student humor magazine], 1990 
4 17
Curriculum description, 1991 
4 18
Events, 1982-1993 
4 19
Exhibitions, 1975-2006 
4 20
Exhibitions: What's Black & White & Red All Over: The Joke Show, 1985 
4 26
Faux Pas [publication], 1986 
p_2 3
Illywords [publication], 2005 
4 21
Parsons 1989 [yearbook], 1989 
4 22
Postcards, 1993-1996 
4 23-25
Integrated Design Curriculum, 2002-2006 
4 27
Interior Design, 1931-2006 
Artistic Window Treatments [book published by DuPont], 1931 
4 28
Exhibitions and events, 1994-2006 
4 29
Interior Designer of the Year awardee John Saladino, 1984 
4 30
Notes toward a Philosophy of Design Education [pamphlet], J. Allen Tate, Department Chair, 1969 
4 31
Promotional materials and catalogs, 1940s, 1992-2004 
4 32
Student work [unsigned], 1930s 
4 33
Kanazawa International Design Institute (KIDI), 1994-2005 
4 34
Kanazawa International Design Institute (KIDI): Brochures, before 2005 
4 35
Liberal Studies, 1997, 1999 
4 36
New York Studio Program, 1991-2005 
4 37
Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, 1941, 1975-1992 

From 1978 until 1991, the Otis Art Institute, located in Los Angeles, was affiliated with Parsons School of Design. Its official name was the Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design. In 1993, the school was renamed Otis College of Art and Design. This series visually documents Otis during the period of its Parsons' affiliation. Dean David Levy details the evolution of the affiliation in the Parsons Centenary oral history project collection (PC.07.01.01) that can be accessed online here: http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/objects/PC070101_Levy_19940127

Commemorative journal, 1992 
4 38
Envelope with embossed seal, undated 
4 39
Exhibitions, 1978-1979, 1990 
8 1
Exhibitions: MacArthur Park Public Art Program, 1984 
8 3
Fashion Critics Awards Shows, 1985, 1987, 1992 
8 2
p_2 9
Mailers and printed material, 1941, 1975-1987 
8 4
MFA Application, 1981 
8 5
Parsons Paris, 1924-2004, undated 
General, 1981-1990 
8 6
Admissions catalogs, 1980-1991 
8 7-11
American College in Paris: Faculty manual, probably 1980 
8 12
American College in Paris: The Planet [student newspaper], 1980-1981 
5 21
Events, 1924-1938 
8 13-14
Events, 1987-1997, 2004 
8 15-17
PIC disks 3 DVD Case 23
Faculty handbook, 1987 
8 18
Fashion Design, 1990 
8 19
Newsletter, 1991 
8 20
Orientation, 1994-1995 
8 21
Promotional book, 1988 
8 22
Place Royale, Place des Vosges Mary Lyttleton Wyatt [book], 1929 
8 23
Student Health Care Plan, 1995 
8 24
Student Work: Measured drawings 1926-1931, undated 

For additional documentation on the teaching of Italian design history, researchers may wish to consult the Stanley Barrows papers (KA.0002).

General, circa 1930 
5 1-2
French Interiors, Louis XV, vol.1 pt.1, undated 
5 3-4
Documents, Interiors, France [photocopy], 1926 
5 5
French Interiors, 18th century, 1926 
5 6
Italian Interiors, 16th to 19th century, 1926 
5 7
French Interiors 18th century, 1927 
5 8
Italian Interiors, 16th to 19th century, 1927 
5 9-10
Italian Interiors, 16th to 19th century, 1929 
5 11
French Interiors, 18th century, 1930 
5 12-14
French Interiors, Louis XVI and Empire, 1930 
5 15-18
Italian Interiors, 18th to 19th century, 1931 
5 19-20
Student work: Emotions [portfolio of etchings], 1989 
p_2 4
Summer Notes [student publication], 1981, 1984 
8 25
Photography, 1981-2007 
General information, 1981-1987, 2004 
8 26
Card set featuring student work, 2003 
8 27
General, 1977-2007 
8 28
Humans All photographs, 1996 

Exhibition catalog will be found in the New School exhibitions and public programs collection (NS.05.03.01).

Senior show, 1997-2002 
8 34
Model of Excellence Dinner honoring André Kertész, 1989-1990 
8 29
World Image Awards, 1991-1993 
8 35
Product Design, 1983-2005 
Card set featuring student work displayed at International Contemporary Furniture Fair, 2000 
9 1
Exhibitions, 1969, 1983-2006 
9 2-3
Exhibitions: Senior Metals, 1997 
9 7
Furniture Design Program, 1990 
9 4
Parsons Product: Projects [publication], 2000-2005 
9 5-6
Samsung Art and Design Institute (SADI): Admissions, 1997-2002 
9 8-10
Samsung Art and Design Institute (SADI): Noise [student publication], 1997 
9 11

Collection Guide Last Updated: 02/28/2017

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