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Parsons School of Design student work transparencies

 Record Group — Box: 1
Identifier: PC-02-01-03


A collection of 4 x 5 inch color transparencies of work probably created 1970 through 1975 by Parsons School of Design students in the Communication Design, Environmental Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, General Illustration, and Graphic Design departments, including work that was exhibited in end of year shows and annual Society of Illustrators Scholarship Competitions.


  • circa 1970-1975



0.4 Cubic Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photographic transparencies of projects by students in the Communication, Environmental Design, Fashion Design, Fashion Illustration, General Illustration, and Graphic Design programs at Parsons School of Design, probably between 1970 and 1975. The transparencies are divided up by department and dated, often with a date range that likely indicates the academic year within which the work was produced. The Fashion Illustration images are consistently labeled with student names, as are most of those in General Illustration, often with the year of the student in the program and sometimes also with the name of the exhibition (usually "End of Year") or specific project. The bulk of the transparencies are unmounted and measure 4" x 5". Others are 2"x2" and 3"x3" slides, both mounted and unmounted. Many of the plastic enclosures holding the transparencies have markings with instructions in grease pencil for enlarging the photographs, as well as page numbers. It is possible that some of the images were included in Parsons course catalogs. Labels on several transparencies in the Environmental Design section identify the photographer, Candida Smallen; otherwise, the photographers of these images are not identified.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

In accordance with The New School's Intellectual Property Rights Policy, copyright is held by each work's respective creator. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the user.

Historical Note

American artist William Merritt Chase established Parsons School of Design in 1896 as the Chase School of Art. While founded as a school of fine arts instruction, it soon added courses in "applied arts," which became the primary focus under the direction of Frank Alvah Parsons. The name of the school changed several times, to the New York School of Art in 1902, then to the New York School of Fine and Applied Art in 1909. In 1940, the Board of Trustees voted to change the school's name to Parsons School of Design in recognition of Frank Alvah Parsons' leadership and to differentiate it from other, similarly named institutions.

In 1921, Parsons School of Design's European School opened with headquarters in France called the Paris Ateliers. The Ateliers closed in 1939 due to the escalation of World War II, and never reopened in its pre-war form. Summer study tours of Europe resumed in the late 1940s. When Parsons School of Design affiliated with the New School for Social Research in 1970, students could for the first time earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the New School (before the merger, students earned either a certificate for a three-year program of study at Parsons, or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree granted by New York University, by taking courses at both schools). A more robust, year-round overseas program resumed at Parsons in the late 1970s under the leadership of Dean David C. Levy. The 1970s also saw the growth of continuing education programs at Parsons, and the introduction of an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree track. In the 1980s, Parsons developed a number of partnerships with international schools, and launched a short-lived merger between Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. The first Parsons graduate program was established at Parsons in 1978, in Fine Arts, with masters programs in other areas added in subsequent years, including a Master of Architecture program begun in 1989. The 2000s saw an increase in the number of graduate programs at Parsons, with new programs introduced nearly every year.


Arranged alphabetically by department name and within each department in chronological order by academic year.

Custodial History

Prior to transfer to The New School Archives, the box of transparencies was in the custody of The New School Art Collection administrative office, although neither the transparencies nor the work depicted were ever part of The New School Art Collection. New School Art Collection curators had no knowledge of the box's provenance or how it came to be in the administrative office. A label affixed to the box read, "Parsons Art Collection."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to The New School Archives by Silvia Rocciolo, co-curator of the New School Art Collection, in 2009.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design student work transparencies
New School Archives and Special Collections Staff
November 7, 2022
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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