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Margaret McKay Tee papers

Identifier: KA-0094-01


Margaret McKay Tee (1882-1955) came to New York from Cripple Creek, Colorado in 1902 to attend Cooper Union. Frank Alvah Parsons later hired Tee as a student instructor at the New York School of Art. After returning to Colorado, Tee carried on a correspondence with Parsons. Tee's papers include letters from Parsons, photographs of Tee's paintings, and an autobiographical essay relating Tee’s upbringing and her experiences as a young art student.


  • 1908 - 1993
  • Majority of material found within 1908 - 1924



0.1 Cubic Feet (3 folders)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents of Collection

The Margaret McKay Tee papers consist of biographical materials and black and white photographs of Tee's artwork, as well as one snapshot of Tee painting in a studio. Of note is correspondence from Frank Alvah Parsons to Tee in which he encourages her to continue her design work. The papers also include a typed, 29-page autobiographical essay on Tee's childhood in and journey from Colorado, and her experiences studying art in New York during the first years of the twentieth century. The papers do not feature extensive documentation about Tee's professional career.

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

Margaret McKay Tee was born in 1882 and raised in Pennsylvania until her family moved to Colorado. Following her education at Colorado College, she trained at New York's Cooper Union and Columbia Teacher's College, where she met Frank Alvah Parsons. Tee subsequently worked for Parsons as a student instructor when he joined the faculty of the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design). Before her marriage to John Tee in 1913, she apprenticed with Jean Griest, a New York decorator. The Tees returned to Colorado and eventually settled at Brinton Terrace, an artists' colony in Denver. During World War II, Tee and her husband worked at the Ogden Air Service Command base.

In her professional career, Tee was a consulting designer for such notable companies as Bigelow Carpet Persian Rug Company, Cyrus Boutwell, and Emden & Wormser. Tee also committed herself to art and design eductation education, serving as art director and teacher at the Graland Country Day school for fifteen years, and teaching fine art and design at the Denver Academy of Art, Colorado Women's College, and Colorado University, as well as at Denver's Vocational High School.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Courtney Cedarholm, 2009.

Guide to the Margaret McKay Tee papers
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
August 11, 2010
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