New York School of Applied Design for Women

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The New York School of Applied Design for Women, established in 1892, was an early design school for women in New York City, affiliated with Columbia University. It became the New York Phoenix School of Design in 1944 and in the 1970s merged with the Pratt Institute.


The school was established in 1892 by philanthropist Ellen Dunlop Hopkins[nb 1] as part of the Arts and Crafts movement. It aimed to "afford women practical instruction which will enable them to earn a livelihood by the application of ornamental design to manufacture and the numerous Arts and Crafts" (Bailey). The school provided courses in book cover design, stained glass, textile and wallpaper design, illustration, etc., with a salesroom for student products.[citation needed] The school was originally located at 200 West 23rd Street. In 1909, the school moved to a new building at 160 Lexington Avenue designed by Harvey Wiley Corbett and partially funding by John D. Rockefeller.[1]

Before 1912, the New York School of Applied Design for Women was closely associated with Columbia University. Architecture students received part of their professional training in the offices of practicing architects. One of these "ateliers" was run by Harvey Wiley Corbett, an architect and instructor at the school.[1]

The school became the New York Phoenix School of Design in 1944, and some thirty years later merged with the Pratt Institute to form the Pratt-Phoenix School of Design. The 160 Lexington Avenue building was designated a New York City Landmark in 1977.[2][nb 2]



  1. ^ In 1938 the Swiss-born American artist Adolfo Müller-Ury (1862-1947) presented the school with a portrait of Ellen Dunlap Hopkins, for which the commemorative scroll of thanks survives amongst his surviving papers in Hospental, Switzerland. The portrait was rediscovered in a private collection in Brooklyn in 2010.[citation needed]
  2. ^ The 160 Lexington Avenue building also formerly housed part of Touro College, which sold it to a private investor in 2006.[2]


  1. ^ a b New York City Landmark Preservation Commission (May 10, 1977). "PRATT-NEW YORK PHOENIX SCHOOL OF DESIGN (New York School of Applied Design for Women)". Retrieved Dec 31, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Gray, Christopher (17 Feb 2008). "A Greek Temple Dedicated to Art and Learning". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 Dec 2008.  The article includes historic information and building photos.

Further reading[edit]

  • Henry Turner Bailey, ed., The School Arts Book, vol. 6 (1907), p. 171.
  • Linda Eisenmann, Historical Dictionary of Women's Education in the United States (New York: Greenwood Press, 1998), p. 129. ISBN 0-313-29323-6.
  • Ellen Mary Easton McLeod, In Good Hands: The Women of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild (Montreal: McGill-Queen's Press, 1999), p. 57. ISBN 0-88629-356-1.
  • Matthew A. Postal, Andrew S. Dolkart, Guide to New York City Landmarks (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 2003), p. 85. ISBN 0-471-36900-4.
  • Sarah Allaback, The First American Women Architects (Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2008), pp. 23–24. ISBN 0252033213.

Coordinates: 40°44′39″N 73°58′54″W / 40.744103°N 73.981728°W / 40.744103; -73.981728