The New School Archives and Special Collections provides primary source materials that document the histories of all divisions of The New School, as well as work created by its extended community. The Archives also holds material not directly connected to New School history, with particular strengths in 20th-century fashion, interior, and graphic design practices.
The New School Associates was the first fund raising body associated with the New School for Social Research. Comprised of faculty, former students, school administrators and supporters of the school's aims, the Associates sponsored numerous educational and social events and an annual membership drive. These records represent the administration of the Associates from the mid-1940s through the 1970s. Art exhibition records extend into the 1980s. Files belonging to the Executive Secretary of the New School Associates, Edith Jonas Levy, constitute a significant portion of these records.
This collection primarily consists of drawings created by fashion designer and theater producer Robert Carreon (1947-2020) while enrolled as a student at Parsons School of Design between 1966 and 1968, as well as drawings from his Parsons admissions portfolio and publicity photos of his work from 1967 to 1969.
The Designer files collection was assembled by Kellen Design Archives staff between approximately 1994 and 2008 from a variety of sources (on occasion new files continue to be added). Subjects are typically Parsons School of Design graduates, visiting critics, lecturers or faculty. Folder contents may include clippings, work samples, ephemera, slides, and such printed materials as business cards, postcards, and pamphlets. Information about the designers in these files ranges from as little as one item to multiple folders. For each letter of the alphabet, general folders contain information about multiple designers by last name or common business name.
American artist William Merritt Chase established Parsons School of Design in 1896 as the Chase School of Art. 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. This charter documents the school's 1909 name change. In 1940, the Board of Trustees voted to change the school's name to Parsons School of Design in recognition of former President Frank Alvah Parsons's leadership and to differentiate it from other, similarly named institutions.
Helen Faith Keane (née Kahn) Reichert (1901-2011) was a professor at the New York University School of Retailing from approximately 1946 until 1977. The files consist of clippings, course materials, handwritten notes on fashion press, print publications of a vocational nature by other merchandising educators, and programs and invitations for fashion shows.
Raymond S. Waldron, Jr. (1913-2002) attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons School of Design) from 1938-1941. After serving in World War II, Waldron worked for Lord & Taylor. In 1965, he established his own interior decoration firm. The Raymond Waldron papers include his student work, a travel sketchbook, and professional files. Work from Waldron's years at New York School of Fine and Applied Art include notebooks with graded assignments, instructor handouts, sketches, and tracings; and larger-format renderings of European interiors and sites. A travel sketchbook reflects Waldron's later design studies in New York, France and Italy. Materials from Waldron's professional career include project files, design research, stereo slides of the Blair House, among other projects, and publicity for his business.
Charles Le Maire (1897-1985) began his costume design career in the 1920s creating costumes for vaudevillian musicals and revues. Later, he served as executive designer for Twentieth Century-Fox. In the 1950s, Le Maire established his own business in Hollywood, taking private commissions and continuing his film design work, and earning thirteen Oscar nominations and three Oscars for Best Costume Design. The collection consists of seventeen Le Maire sketches, including work for the Earl Carroll Vanities (1924-1930) and unidentified sketches from the 1950s.
Bob Adelman (1930-2016) took photography classes with Alexey Brodovitch at The New School in the 1950s and became one of the photographers regularly documenting the life of the New School in the 1970s and 1980s. He also taught photography courses at the school. Adelman was one of the most well-known photographers of the Civil Rights Movement. The Bob Adelman photograph collection consists predominantly of black and white photographic prints taken for the New School for Social Research (now The New School) during the late 1970s-early 1980s. The collection also includes a small group of prints representing Adelman's work in documentary journalism, including photographs of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as photographs documenting life in New Orleans and Moscow, and the New York City Housing Authority.
Seven black and white photographic prints by New York-based photographer Hank O'Neal, from a series documenting artist Richard Hambleton's Shadow Man paintings, which were painted on the walls of buildings around Manhattan's East Village in 1981 and 1982.