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Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work

Identifier: KA-0124-01


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.


  • 1960 - 1963



0.1 Cubic Feet (10 folders)

Language of Materials


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.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use. Please contact 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:

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.

Sources: (accessed May 9, 2011) (accessed May 10, 2011)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller, 2011.

Existence and Location of Copies

The New School Archives holds photographic documentation of Wagenseller's 1962 summer tour and leisure activities while studying at Parsons. These images can be viewed on The New School Archive's Digital Collections: Original snapshots returned to donor.

Photographs depict Wagenseller's trip to Europe, an Ides of March-themed costume party at Parsons, and social gatherings of students and instructors. Individuals depicted include Interior Design faculty members Stanley Barrows, Maria Fenyo, John Kacere, and Allen Tate in addition to students Charles Brunelle, Susan Forbes, Karin Stockar Hardy, Reiko Taguchi Ide, Ann Kneedler, and Charles Rowan (all Class of '63).

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.

Guide to Carolyn Nesbitt Wagenseller student work
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
September 13, 2011
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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