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Parsons School of Design photograph collection

 Collection
Identifier: PC-04-01-01

Overview

Includes 1,425 photographs, contact sheets and negatives documenting Parsons student and campus life, including exhibitions, award and fashion shows, guest lectures, field trips, and campus construction projects.

Dates

  • circa 1920s - 2003
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2000

Creator

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research use. 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. Please contact: archivist@newschool.edu.

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.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.

Extent

3.1 Cubic Feet (1,425 photographs)

Language of Materials

English

Scope and Contents of Collection

Collection consists of photographic materials documenting Parsons The New School for Design and its affiliate schools and programs, spanning the 1920s through the early 2000s. The bulk of the collection documents the 1970s onwards. The earliest photographic documentation in the collection is of the Paris Ateliers, which became Parsons Paris. Many of the photographic materials produced in the 1970s and onwards were generated by the New School's Communications Office.

Organization and Arrangement

Organized in 7 series: I. General, circa 1940-1997; II. Departments and programs, circa 1950s-2000s; III. Events, 1971-1998; IV. Otis Art Institute, circa 1970s-1991; V. Parsons Paris, circa 1920s-1990s; VI. Portraits, circa 1970s-1997; VII. Oversize, 1925-2003

Other Finding Aids

For selected item-level description and images from the Parsons School of Design Photograph Collection, see The New School Archives Digital Collections at http://digitalarchives.library.newschool.edu/index.php/Detail/collections/PC040101.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of collection has not been determined, although the nature of the collection suggests that it was compiled for use in Parsons School of Design promotional materials.

Related Materials

Photographs documenting Parsons School of Design prior to 1970 will also be found in the Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records (PC.03.02.01).

Processing Information

This collection was created prior to the re-establishment of the Kellen Design Archives in 2008. Archives staff closed this collection to further additions at that time.
Title
Guide to the Parsons School of Design photograph collection
Status
Completed
Author
Bernadette Vitale.
Date
March 3, 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English