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Parsons School of Design poster collection

Identifier: PC-05-07-01


Contains 236 posters created for academic departments and administrative offices of Parsons The New School for Design, including promotional posters for summer sessions and study abroad programs, recruiting by specific departments, and publicity for exhibitions, public programs, and internship fairs. With the exception of a 1927 poster advertising a dance, the series does not contain any material created prior to 1956.


  • 1927 - 2006
  • Majority of material found within 1956 - 2006



7.2 Cubic Feet (236 items)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This group of materials consists of posters created for academic departments and administrative offices of Parsons The New School for Design.

Materials in this collection were created to serve two functions. The first advertises services to matriculated Parsons students. Examples include posters promoting internship fairs (Career Services Department), summer sessions and study abroad programs (Office of Admissions, Office of Special Programs) and enrollment in specific academic departments. The second advertises exhibitions, lectures, screenings and programs open to the Parsons/New School community and to the general public. Examples include posters publicizing continuing education classes, exhibitions mounted in gallery spaces, and advertisements to attract student applicants. Posters with variations on the title, "Parsons is coming," were admissions recruitment posters, provided to high schools to publicize the arrival of school representatives.

Artists, illustrators, photographers and designers are always identified at the item-level, when known. The collection includes a number of posters by noted graphic designer Cipe Pineles Golden. Pineles, who liked to experiment with a variety of paper and printing techniques, was both an instructor and the head of the Publication Design office, which produced promotional materials for Parsons. Poster designs were often the product of collaborative efforts between Pineles, students and faculty. These posters include the iconic Parsons posters featuring fruit (painted by Parsons senior Janet Amendola). The idea of using fruit to symbolize each of the Parsons campuses (oranges for Otis Art Institute of Parsons in Los Angeles, apples for Parsons' New York campus, and grapes for Parsons Paris) was conceived shortly after the merger between the Otis Art Institute of Los Angeles and Parsons School of Design in 1979. Other notable contributors include illustrators and faculty members Murray Tinkelman and John Russo; Mies Hora; Jean-Claude Suares; fine artist Larry Rivers; and photographer and graphic designer Henry Wolf.

With the exception of a 1927 poster advertising a student dance, the collection does not contain any material created prior to 1956.

Access Restrictions

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:

Historical Note

Since at least 1927 through the 1980s, the students, staff, and faculty of Parsons participated in creating posters for the school, often to serve as recruitment publicity for the Office of Admissions, to furnish general information, broadcast the school's curriculum, and announce campus events.

Posters created before 1970 were designed by individual staff, faculty, and students, and are limited to event and registration announcements. In 1970, shortly after the merger of Parsons School of Design with the New School for Social Research, David C. Levy, Parsons' dean, appointed noted designer and faculty member Cipe Pineles as Director of Publications. In this new position, and at the request of Dean Levy, Pineles embarked on a campaign to promote the school’s rapidly expanding curriculum through the use of heavily-circulated publications and posters. As her efforts gained steady support from the campus community, and the workload of the Publication office increased, Pineles often sought the help of students to create new design concepts and artwork. In 1977, she hired recent graduate Mies Hora as an assistant, and in 1979 solicited the illustrations of graduating senior Janet Amendola, who painted the iconic fruit for the poster which, for a number of years, became the primary image by which the school was identified.


Posters are arranged in boxes based upon size.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Most of the posters in this collection were most likely collected by librarians in Parsons School of Design's Adam and Sophie Gimbel Design Library, and were later transferred to the New School Archives.

Physical Facet

Dimensions of posters provided in inches at item-level.

Processing Information

This collection, previously part of a larger record group known as Parsons Institutional Collections (PC.05), 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.

Guide to the Parsons School of Design poster collection
Christopher J. Bentley and Bernadette Vitale.
September 13, 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description