Skip to main content

Albert Landa records

 Record Group
Identifier: NS-03-02-07

Overview

Consists of records generated by Albert Landa (1927-2008), who started in 1960 as director of Public Information and became vice president of Development and Public Relations at The New School, and then held the title of Vice President, until he retired in 1985. The records in this collection are notable because Landa was deeply involved in a rapid expansion of the university, overseeing the launch of the Center for New York City Affairs, the merger of Parsons School of Design with The New School, and leading the merger of the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles with Parsons. The collection is comprised of six series, representing activities related to most of the major divisions and institutes of the university. Materials relate primarily to the development of new programs, building projects, fund raising, and public relations. Some documents in this collection are restricted. Please email archivist@newschool.edu for further information.

Dates

  • 1933 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1963 - 1985

Creator

Access Note

Collection is open for research use. Files containing student records are restricted for 120 years after person's known or estimated birth (or group of persons, like a class). Files with faculty or other personnel salary, performance reviews, hiring information are restricted for 50 years from creation date of item (or last creation date in file). 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 and Special Collections. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

Biographical note

Abraham Willie Landa (1927-2008)--who chose to be called Albert, or Al--was born in Newark, New Jersey. In World War II he served in the Army Air Forces. He graduated from Long Island University in 1951 and became The New School’s director of Public Information in 1960 during a time when the university was in the midst of a financial and existential crisis. In the late 1960s, Landa was appointed vice president for Development and Public Relations and, from 1979 until his retirement in 1985, his title was Vice President. Among many achievements he is credited with at the university, Landa expanded programs and enrollment, establishing more secure funding streams. Among these expansions, Landa led the development of the Center for New York City Affairs into the Graduate School of Urban Policy (as of 2017, the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy). Landa also helped to facilitate the 1970 merger with Parsons School of Design, and, in 1978, led the team that acquired the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, which became a division of Parsons until separating again in 1991. After retiring from The New School in 1985, Landa served as executive director of the New York Academy of Art and as a member of the selection committee for the George Polk Awards for excellence in journalism. In an oral history interview conducted in 2017, Jonathan Fanton (president of The New School, 1982-1999) describes Landa's contribution to The New School as "magnificent," crediting him along with New School for Social Research dean Allen Austill with saving and defining the university.

Al Landa died in Manhattan on Jan. 26, 2008.

__

Audio interview with Jonathan Fanton by Julia Foulkes with Mark Larrimore and Wendy Scheir, May 5, 2017, The New School Oral History Program, NS.07.01.01, The New School Archives and Special Collections, The New School, New York, NY.

New York Times obituary. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/03/nyregion/03landa.html

Extent

12.2 Cubic Feet (10 boxes, 6 folders)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents

These records were kept by Albert Landa (1927-2008), who began his long career at The New School in 1960 as director of Public Information, and went on to serve as vice president of Development and Public Relations. Landa retired in 1985 with the title of Vice President. The collection is comprised of six series, stemming primarily from Landa's role as vice president of Development and Public Relations. Each of the first four series represents his engagement with a particular unit within the university, a fifth series with events involving the New School's president, Jonathan Fanton, and the final series his role in matters related to more than one division of The New School. Materials throughout largely relate to the development of new institutes and programs, building projects, fund raising, and public relations. The files evidence Landa's deep involvement in the major expansion of The New School in the 1960s and '70s, documenting his key role in the mergers with Parsons School of Design and Otis Art Institute, and in shaping and managing fund raising and public relations efforts. Correspondence throughout sheds light on Landa's relationship with New School faculty and staff, as well as civic leaders and philanthropists.

Series I. Center for New York City Affairs, covers the founding and early years of the Center.

Series II. Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science documents events, fund raising, and program development related to the division, known in 2017 as the New School for Social Research.

Series III. Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design documents the Los Angeles school's merger with Parsons in 1978-1979. Landa appears to have initially drawn the New School's attention to the Institute and the files document his lead role in the merger. The series mainly covers development-related issues.

Series IV. Parsons School of Design primarily comprises files connected to development projects and the launching of new programs after Parsons's merger with The New School in 1970. Files show that Landa oversaw operations of the newly joined division together with New School for Social Research dean Allen Austill.

Series V. President entertainment contains files related to fund raising and other events, as well as informal gatherings at President Jonathan Fanton's residence.

Series VI. University-wide files cover executive-level administrative issues.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized into six series in alphabetical order:

I. Center for New York City Affairs; II.Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science; III. Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design; IV.Parsons School of Design; V.President entertainment; VI. University-wide files

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Albert Landa records, see the New School Archives Digital Collections at https://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/NS030207

Immediate Source of Acquisition

These files were identified as Al Landa's records and separated from a large accession of records transferred from the New School President's Office in 2015.

Related Materials

Related administrative materials, mainly regarding Otis Art Institute, Parsons School of Design and the Graduate Faculty will be found in the records of Allen Austill (NS.02.01.03). Other related collections include the New School Publicity Office records (NS.03.01.05); the New School Development and Public Relations Office records (NS.03.02.02); New School Office of Development and Alumni Relations (NS.03.02.03); the Parsons School of Design administrative and other offices collection (pre-2008 accessions) (PC.03.01.01); the David C. Levy records (PC.01.04.01); and the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research collection (NS.02.02.01).

Separated Materials

A Parsons School of Design course catalog for 1969-1970 has been removed from this collection and added to the Parsons Course Catalog Collection (PC.05.01.01).

Processing Information

These records were part of a large accession of records transferred from the New School President's Office in 2015. It is likely that the records here represent only a portion of those Landa kept over the course of his tenure at the New School. Two groups of files that had been kept separately at the time they were transferred from the President's Office, "University-wide" and "General subject files," have been merged during processing into Series VI. University-wide files, because the content overlapped significantly.
Title
Guide to the Albert Landa records
Status
Completed
Author
Agnes Szanyi
Date
June 22, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English