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Parsons School of Design oral history program

Identifier: PC-07-01-02


This ongoing oral history program documents the lives and work of designers, artists, and others active in the fields of art and design. Interviewees include Parsons School of Design alumni, faculty, and professionals without a direct Parsons connection.


  • 1994
  • Majority of material found within 2010 - 2019



15.5 Gigabytes (83 files; 26:11:46 duration; 18 PDF transcripts)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This ongoing oral history program documents the lives and work of designers, artists, and others active in the fields of art and design. Interviewees include Parsons alumni, faculty, staff, and professionals without a direct Parsons connection. In some cases, interviews were conducted in conjunction with the acquisition of archival material from the interviewee or upon the retirement of a staff or faculty member. In other cases the interview was conducted in order to gain insight into a particular department, discipline, or era.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. Please contact for appointment.

Use Restrictions

To publish or post in any public form all or part of any recording or transcription from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from the New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Biographical Note

Interviewer Biographies

Anthony Aziz
Anthony Aziz is an artist and professor of fine arts at Parsons School of Design. Aziz has a collaborative art practice with Sammy Cucher. Their sculpture, photography, textiles, videos, and installations have been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. Aziz received his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990.
Fiona Dieffenbacher
Fiona Dieffenbacher is an assistant professor of fashion design at Parsons School of Design, and is director of the BFA program in fashion design. She received an undergraduate degree in fashion and textiles from the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom and a BFA degree from Parsons. In 1998, Dieffenbacher launched her ready-to-wear label "Fiona Walker," which is sold at select retailers in the United States and internationally.
Beth Dincuff Charleston
Beth Dincuff Charleston is a fashion historian and professor at Parsons The New School for Design. Formerly the manager of the Calvin Klein Archives, she maintained a garment archive that served as a creative catalyst for designers from every division of the company. Working with Mr. Klein and the company's creative directors she created an image database to facilitate designer research, as well as to record Calvin Klein's design legacy. As a research associate at the Costume Institute of the Mteropolitan Museum of Art, Dincuff Charleston worked with many well-known fashion designers, costumers and writers, and contributed to the exhibitions Dangerous Liaisons, Goddess and Chanel. She regularly contributes to scholarly publications including the online Grove Dictionary of Art and The Timeline of Art History. Her education includes a BFA in Film from New York University and an MA in Museum Studies: Costume and Textiles from The Fashion Institute of Technology. As acting curator of the Parsons Fashion Archive, Dincuff Charleston organized the exhibition Sophie of Saks: Sophie Gimbel and the Salon Moderne, in 2013.
Wendy Scheir
Wendy Scheir came to The New School in 2008 to direct the Kellen Design Archives for Parsons The New School for Design (a unit of The New School Libraries and Archives). In 2012, while continuing to lead the Kellen Design Archives, Scheir established the first ever university archives at The New School. Prior to starting at The New School, Scheir worked for the New York Public Library, where she was project archivist on a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to process the records of the New York World's Fair Corporation, 1939-1940. She holds a BA in English Literature, an MFA in Film, and an MA in History and Archives, all from New York University.
Jeanne Swadosh
Jeanne Swadosh (1976-) is an archivist employed with the New School Archives and Special Collections. Prior to joining the New School Libraries' staff as an archivist for the Kellen Design Archives in 2009, Swadosh worked for the Hadassah Archives at the Center for Jewis History and the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences. She holds an MLS from Queens College -- City University of New York and a BS in Media, Culture and Communication Studies from New York University.
Dani Witkus
Dani Witkus is a student in the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons School of Design. She holds a BFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art at Temple University.

Organization and Arrangement

Interviews are arranged alphabetically by interviewee name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

All interviews conducted during this program were commissioned by the New School Archives.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design oral history program
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
May 11, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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