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New School Art Center audio recordings of public programs

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-07-02-02


The New School Art Center was established in 1960 with a donation from the Albert J. List Foundation, and remained in operation until 1973. Directed by Paul Mocsanyi, the Center reflected The New School's commitment to engage provocative subjects, using art to explore contemporary issues. The collection contains sound recordings of events sponsored by the Art Center, often in conjunction with an exhibition or as part of educational programming.


  • 1961 - 1972



13 1/4 inch Audio Tape

Language of Materials


Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of sound recordings of events sponsored by the New School Art Center. Public programming was central to the mission of the Art Center, where events were often held in conjunction with an exhibition. Examples of exhibition-associated programming are in evidence in this collection, as well as recordings of a public lecture series with leading experts discussing the subject of art collecting from a range of perspectives.

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. All of the recordings in this collection except for "Communication and Expression in Art" have been digitized. For those recordings that are available in digital form, researchers must consult the digitized versions, which are publicly accessible online on The New School Archives Digital Collections site.

Use Restrictions

To publish material from this collection, permission must be obtained in writing from The New School Archives and Special Collections. Please contact:

Historical Note

The New School Art Center was established in the fall of 1960 with a significant gift by the Albert J. List Foundation, and remained in operation until the mid-1970s. The Center's original mission statement describes its ambitious project:

[The Art Center represents] a continuing effort by the New School for Social Research to manifest its interest in art as a major endeavor of man and society. The Art Center embraces no particular movement or group, but serves as a forum for all noteworthy expression by artists of this and other nations. It attempts to make its own unique contribution to the cultural life of New York City, rather than to duplicate efforts of the many excellent art institutions in this community.

Directed throughout its existence by Paul Mocsanyi (MO-chan-yee), the center's programs were geared toward students, professional artists and critics, and "an enlightened public." Mocsanyi mounted several exhibitions per year, organizing public programs that brought in outside experts to explore and expand upon exhibition themes. Striving to embody the New School's founding commitment to openly engage with progressive, provocative subjects, exhibitions often revolved around contemporary political and social issues.

In the 1960s, Art Center exhibitions were usually presented in Wollman Hall on the fifth floor of 66 West 12th Street. Sculpture exhibitions were sometimes held in the New School courtyard. Despite support from New School president John Everett, the Art Center was never able to secure Wollman, nor any other location in the building, as a permanent space dedicated exclusively to exhibition. In 1969, the Art Center held its inaugural exhibition in the university's new Graduate Faculty Center at 65 Fifth Avenue. The catalog for the 1969 exhibition announces a "new dimension" to the Art Center: the permanent display of contemporary artwork "throughout the New School." Indeed, Mocsanyi's role at The New School appears to be evolving during this period. Early on, his primary activity was centered around exhibitions and public programming. In the latter half of the 1960s, he expanded the center's focus to address the theoretical and practical concerns of public and private art collectors. In 1967, the center launched a lecture series that ran for several years, Collectors on Collecting . At least two exhibitions from this period also feature work from private collections, including the posters of Vera and Albert List's and Nelson A. Rockefeller's collection.

The Art Center's programming in the late 1960s and early 1970s demonstrates its commitment to exploring the historical and contemporary relationship of art and artists to social and political protest in the United States and Europe. Exhibitions such as the Hiroshima Panels confronted the outcome of the American bombing of Japan during World War II; and a number of exhibitions employed art as a vehicle for expressing outrage about the expanding Vietnam War.

In 1973, with the help of the Art Center Committee, in particular Vera List and Alice Kaplan, The New School established the Collectors Institute, with Mocsanyi as director. The Institute was a membership organization "established exclusively for the purpose of conducting the nation's first educational program meeting the intellectual and practical needs of the private art collector."

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in chronological order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Raymond E. Fogelman Library to the New School Archives and Special Collections upon establishment of the archives in 2012.

Existence and Location of Copies

Transcripts from two of the events in this collection are available in the New School Art Center collection (NS.03.05.02).

Related Materials

Textual documentation on the exhibitions and programs documented in this collection will be found in the New School Art Center records (NS.03.05.02).

Guide to the New School Art Center audio recordings of public programs
Alexis Zanghi and New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
February 23, 2021
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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