New School News

Two new books illuminate the rich and varied history of this unconventional university...
Two new books illuminate the rich and varied history of this unconventional university...

New Books Share The New School’s History Through Art and Storytelling

To commemorate The New School’s centennial and its rich and varied history, two new books were published that illuminate the story of this unconventional university. 

I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School is the university’s first comprehensive overview of the artworks found on campus, ranging from murals by José Clemente Orozco to installations by Agnes Denes, Kara Walker, Alfredo Jaar, Glenn Ligon, Sol LeWitt, and Martin Puryear + Michael Van Valkenburgh.

Conceived and produced by university curator Silvia Rocciolo, professor of visual culture Lydia Matthews, and Eric Stark as a collaboration between The New School Art Collection and Parsons’ Curatorial Design Research Lab, I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here features essays by more than 50 renowned authors considering 13 site-specific works commissioned by The New School for its campus between 1930 and today.

Rocciolo gave a tour of the collection to NY1’s Roger Clark (beginning at 18:16:45 in the video), in which she discussed the importance of public art in the university setting. “We don’t have an exhibition space; we don’t have a white cube or a museum dedicated to our artwork. It is a collection that is lived with by the community and meant to be lived with.” Noting how the art complements the educational model of the university, Rocciolo spoke of the way “the arts and social sciences come together in this great confluence of The New School.”

In A Drama in Time: The New School Century, written by John Reed, associate professor of writing across media in the Schools of Public Engagement, a nonlinear structure is used to weave together key moments in the university’s history. Filled with cultural vignettes supported by more than 400 archival images, the book brings to life compelling told — and untold — stories of the people, ideas, and events that have shaped The New School over the past century.

In a recent conversation with Allison Stewart on WNYC’s All of It, Reed discussed the structure of the book, which, while a history book, is not organized chronologically. Stewart described it as what would result “if Barbara Kruger made a scrapbook.” Reed explained that he aimed to create more than a “giant brick of a book.” He described his vision as “this notion of characterizing the school through the internal story first and putting the external story in service of the internal story, so that if you read the book, if you flip through it, you would have all of these individual stories that added up to the character of the school.”

The two books, I Stand in My Place with My Own Day Here: Site-Specific Art at The New School and A Drama in Time: The New School Century, are available at The New Store. 

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