The New School was founded in 1919. Or 1896, when the Chase School of Art began, which eventually evolved into Parsons School of Design. Or 1933, on the occasion of the University-in-Exile, which became the Graduate Faculty in Political and Social Science. Or 1970, when Parsons School of Design merged with The New School. Or 1989, when Mannes College of Music, first established in 1916, became a part of the school. Which beginning makes best sense of The New School today?

The questions that arise just in establishing the school’s founding exemplify much of the intriguing and complicated history of this storied institution. The beginning is an unsettled matter. So, too, is much of what follows.

This website seeks to discover, figure out, and interrogate the past at a school dedicated to the new. Students are mining recently recovered archival materials and have put together much of the material on the website. Click on “History” to obtain information about many of the school’s acclaimed historical moments, including the University in Exile, the building of 66 West 12th Street, and the murals of José Clemente Orozco and Thomas Hart Benton. “Voices” features the newest discoveries from the archives from scholars, students, and New School aficionados.  Check out the “Reader” with its long and varied list of articles, books, music, artwork and dance created by thinkers and artists associated with the university.

You can look at digitized items in the New School Archives here. And tell us your New School story here!

Editors: Julia L. Foulkes, Professor of History (foulkesj[at] and Mark Larrimore, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (larrimom[at]