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Interior Design Collections in the Kellen Design Archives

An overview of materials available for researchers interested in exploring the history of interior design using the Kellen Design Archives.

Photographs and slides

Photographs and slides documenting the activities of the Interior Design Department (including its years as "Environmental Design") from the 1920s through the present will be found in the following institutional records:

Parsons School of Design Alumni Association records, 1920-1970

Photographs, circa 1920s-2003

Slides, 1960-2001

From the Alumni Association records

Collections of interior design educators

The following collections document the work of individuals whose activities include teaching, lecturing and administering the Interior Design Department at Parsons throughout the 20th century. Collection titles in red indicate a collection guide is available online. Click on the title to open a guide in a new window.

Stanley Barrows (1914-1995) graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1940 and taught interior design at the school for over twenty years, becoming mentor to several generations of notable designers. The collection includes examples of student work compiled by Barrows, course outlines, class travel itineraries, reference photographs of Italian decorative styles, biographical material, and correspondence from Barrows related to his activities as a designer and teacher.

Constance P. Brown attended the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) from 1913 until 1917, and worked as secretary to Frank Alvah Parsons sometime in the teens or 1920s. The collection consists of postcards and a letter from Parsons to Brown, faculty announcements, school circulars and lecture advertisements, interior decoration class rolls, clippings from 1913-1934, and correspondence with the Parsons Alumni Association, 1944 and 1961.

Francis Geck (1900-2005) graduated from the New York School of Fine and Applied Art (later, Parsons The New School for Design) in 1924 and taught interior design at the school's Paris Ateliers until 1927. Following a professional career in his native Detroit, Geck became a professor of Fine Arts at University of Colorado, where he taught for 39 years. The papers contain correspondence with Parsons administrators, including Frank Alvah Parsons, design renderings and student work, publications, and course-related materials.

Albert Hadley (1920-  ) graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1949 and served on the faculty from 1949 through 1954. Hadley later joined Dorothy "Sister" Parish to form the design firm Parish-Hadley. The collection (1947-1999) includes correspondence, design and lecture notes, student work and a mock-up for a booklet.

Frank Alvah Parsons (1866-1930) began as an instructor at the New York School of Art in 1904. In 1911 he became director, renaming the school the New York School of Fine and Applied Art to reflect his reorientation of the institution's focus toward the practical design disciplines. The school was later renamed to honor Parsons' leadership. The collection is comprised of published editions of 21 of Parsons' lectures on art, and includes prints of period rooms he used to illustrate the lectures.