Amy Brook Snider Papers
Scope and Contents
The Amy Brook Snider Papers collection houses the personal papers of life-long artist and art educator, Amy Brook Snider. The collection, which dates from 1896 to 2018, consists of correspondence, journals, planners, course materials, selected short stories and scholarly articles, academic writings and personal essays, artwork, photographs, slides, research notes, newspaper clippings, and presentation materials, including puppets. Also included is ephemera, and other records that document Snider’s personal life, relationships, and travels as well as her professional work and her relationships at Pratt Institute and with other art education advocacy organizations. Additionally, this collection contains meeting minutes, reports, policy statements, grant proposals and application materials, slides, photographs and other records reflecting the administrative work performed by Snider in her forty year role as chair of the Pratt Arts and Design Education Department. This collection documents Amy Snider's career for over fifty years as an artist, art educator, and scholar whose work helped shape the direction of the Pratt Art and Design Education Department and whose innovative approach and breadth of influences significantly contributed to the discourse surrounding art education and pedagogy.
This collection provides unique insight into the development, direction, and content of Pratt Institute’s Art and Design Education program from the early 1980s up through the early 2010s. Snider had a distinctive view of the role of the art educator which is reflected in her course materials, student evaluations, and relationships with other institutions that researchers can find in the collection. Researchers interested in the history and activities of the Pratt Arts and Design Education program can find many relevant materials in this collection as Snider served as the chairperson of the department for forty years and helped to develop its community arts programs, to create international relationships and courses, design exhibitions, secure grants and funding, and devise administrative policy.
Additionally, this collection provides a comprehensive view of the life and work of Amy Brook Snider, whose work and influence on the field of art education and pedagogy is recognized internationally. To this end, the collection contains a large quantity of personal and professional correspondence which highlights her deep engagement in the community, her impact on students and the profession, and her occasionally contentious interaction with art education colleagues. This collection further outlines Snider’s approach to art education and the discourse which challenged an array of existing contemporary models including, but not limited to, conference formats, classroom structures, educational techniques, and teachers’ roles. Notes, original writings, and bibliographies of sources and articles that influenced her outlook on education and art are well represented in the collection as well as an array of newspaper clippings, articles, and reference materials that highlight her specific interest in narratives, storytelling, untrained artists, performance, and other topics.
- 1896 - 2018
- Majority of material found within 1964 - 2018
- Snider, Amy (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open to the public. Some material in this collection is restricted due to its sensitive or confidenatial nature. Restricted material is identified as such.
Conditions Governing Use
For permission to publish, contact the Institute Archivist, Pratt Institute Library at email@example.com.
Biographical / Historical
Amy Brook Snider was an artist and pioneering educator whose commitment and innovation made a deep impact in the art education and pedagogy field where she worked for over fifty years.
A life-long New Yorker, Snider was born in Queens on July 26, 1940 to parents, Silas and Claire (née Fox) Snider, where she grew in the Sunnyside neighborhood along with her younger sister and fellow artist/educator, Jenny Snider. In her paper,"Growing Up in the Living Room," Snider credits this culturally and intellectually vibrant community and her homelife with shaping her progressive worldview, fomenting her passion for arts, and later informing the communal atmosphere she promoted in her academic workspaces. As a youth, Snider attended the High School of Music and Art, where she took art courses with Sylvia Milgram whose instruction and approach had a lasting influence on Snider. Following her passion for art and education, Snider pursued and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Queens College in NY in 1961 and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Madison, Wisconsin in 1964. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Snider also completed courses in other disciplines such as Comparative Literature, Philosophy, and Anthropology, perspectives and techniques she later incorporated into her own theories and approach to art education. Upon the completion and submission of her dissertation surrounding her “Art and Self” course at Pratt, Snider was awarded a doctorate in Education from NYU in 1995. In 1961, Snider began her career in the art education field as an art teacher teaching at various public schools such as JHS 88, JHS 136, PS 9/79, and others located in the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx. Snider continued in this role in the New York City public school system up until budget cuts to the arts in the mid-70s ended her time there. After working on various arts projects including a South Street Seaport project and working with elderly artists, Snider joined the faculty at Pratt Institute in 1978. In 1982, Snider became the chairperson of the newly reformed Arts and Design Education Department, overseeing its development and operation. For forty years as a chairperson and professor, she worked to shape the mission and approach of the department, to fashion novel curricula, and to bestow upon her students an understanding of her concept of the “Artist-Teacher.” During her tenure as chair at Pratt, she expanded existing arts programming, which included developing international exchange programs, and forged new community partnerships with charter schools and local education advocacy groups. Additionally, she spearheaded internal projects at Pratt Institute such as the Writing Across the Curriculum journal project and secured grant funding for various programs supporting middle school, high school, and incarcerated students such as the Design Initiative for Community Empowerment (DICE), Saturday Art School, and others. In 2012, Snider stepped down as department chair and once again joined the faculty as a full professor. In this role, she supervised student teachers and advised thesis students in the undergraduate and graduate Art and Design Education programs. In recognition of her years of work and dedication, she was awarded the title of Professor Emerita by Pratt Institute in 2016.
Extending beyond the confines of the classroom, Snider’s exploration in practice and scholarly contributions to the art education field reaches back to the early 1970s. Snider often created experiential educational projects and exhibitions that drew from her wide-ranging intellectual interests. Many early projects such as the “Room as a Loom” (1975) and “Hair Tying Exhibition” (1974), featuring frequent collaborators such as Theodora Skipitares and Jenny Snider, reflect Amy Snider’s infusion of performance and play into lesson planning to dissolve some of the traditional boundaries of the classroom to engage students. Snider’s desire to challenge format and inject performance into presentation found its way into her long standing participation in the National Arts Education Association (NAEA). Beginning in the 1980s and continuing up into the 2010s, Snider was a frequent presenter, contributor, and collaborator in projects featured at the annual NAEA conferences. These presentations and conference exhibitions sought to expand the presentation framework and activate the audience, which she accomplished through use of puppetry and performance. In addition to these presentations, she made further contributions to the discourse through her essays and reflections upon her projects, exhibitions, and NAEA conferences, which were often published in art education journals and Pratt publications.
An avid researcher and prolific reader, Snider drew inspiration from a wide range of sources and disciplines. Many of the exhibitions and projects she created stem from her personal interest in the role of storytelling and narrative in education and art; the output of untrained, outsider, and folk artists; intergenerational education; and the conception of self as expressed through biography and art. These interests coupled with her progressive and feminist outlook inspired her curation and facilitation of projects such as the “Images of Experience” (1982), “Why Weddings?” (2003), “Childhood Regained” (2007), “Handwriting Exhibition” (1996), and many others. With her decades of classroom experience and unique insight and depth of scholarship, Snider’s expertise was sought internationally, leading her to present at workshops and conferences across the globe as well as to consult with numerous educational projects such as the Beginning With Children School, Achievement First, and “The 4th R: Teaching Observational Drawing to Young Children.” Over the years, Snider received acclaim for her contribution to the field of Art Education including the June King McFee Award in 2002.
After a lifetime of dedication and advocacy for art education, Amy Brook Snider passed away on December 17, 2018. Outspoken and passionate, Snider truly made an impact on her field and left behind a deep impression on many artists and educators working and creating today.
“Pratt Remembers Art and Design Education Advocate and Pedagogical Reformer Amy Brook Snider.” (2019, January 28). Pratt News. Retrieved April 25, 2023, from https://www.pratt.edu/news/pratt-remembers-art-and-design-education-advocate-and-pedagogical-reformer/
Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc. (2019, January 3). Amy Brook Snider, FF Alumn, in Memoriam. https://franklinfurnace.org/goings-on-01-03-2019/
Kushins, J. (2018. December 30). Amy Brook Snider, PhD: Teacher, Mentor, Friend. Art Education Outside the Lines. https://insideoutarted.wordpress.com/tag/amy-brook-snider/
Snider, A. B. (2002, March 23). June King McFee Award Acceptance Speech, [Acceptance speech]. National Art Education Association Conference 2002, Miami Beach, Florida, United States. https://naeawc.net/Archive/Archive_Events/Archive_Awards/Award-speeches_McFee/2002_McFee-Brook_Snider.pdf
64.41 Linear Feet (105 document boxes, 7 artifact boxes, 6 roll storage boxes, 4 photo print boxes, 2 flat file drawers, 22 oversize boxes.)
Language of Materials
Amy Brook Snider was an artist and pioneering educator whose commitment and innovation made a deep impact in the art education and pedagogy field where she worked for over fifty years. An art education professor, Snider served as the chair of the Pratt Institute Arts and Design Education department from 1982 to 2012 where she had a significant influence upon the instruction of art education students as well as the programming, partnerships, and projects undertaken by her department.
The Amy Brook Snider Papers collection houses her personal and professional papers and dates from 1908 to 2018. The collection consists of correspondence, journals, planners, course materials, selected short stories and scholarly articles, academic writings and personal essays, artwork, photographs, slides, research notes, newspaper clippings, presentation materials including puppets. Also included is ephemera that document Snider’s personal life, relationships, and travels as well as her professional work and relationships at Pratt Institute and with other art education advocacy organizations. Additionally, this collection contains meeting minutes, reports, policy statements, grant proposals and application materials, slides, photographs and other records reflecting the administrative work performed by Snider in her forty year role as chair of the Pratt Arts and Design Education Department.
The records are arranged in eight series, all of which have been arranged into further sub-series. Materials within the series are arranged chronologically, thematically, and alphabetically with sub-series being arranged thematically. Within sub-series, files have been arranged chronologically. The arrangement of the records is as follows:
Series 1, Personal, 1931-2018 Subseries 1, Travel, 1962-2016 Subseries 2, Correspondence, 1955-2018 Subseries 3, Planners, Address Books, and Notebooks, 1962-2018 Subseries 4, Events, 1963-2018 Subseries 5, Artwork, 1953-1983 Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, 1931-2018
Series 2, Writings, 1955-2018 Subseries 1, Teaching Autobiography, 1975 Subseries 2, Memoir Manuscript, 1985-2014 Subseries 3, Dissertation, 1976-1995
Series 3, Professional, 1928-2018 Subseries 1, National Art Education Association, 1969-2016 Subseries 2, Women’s Caucus, 1974-2002 Subseries 3, Awards, 1961-2016 Subseries 4, Correspondence, 1969-2006 Subseries 5, VMDO Architecture Firm Collaboration, 1987-1992 Subseries 6, Youth Art Classes, 1967-1981 Subseries 7, Miscellaneous, 1961-2018
Series 4, Pratt Institute Art and Design Education Subseries 1, Administrative, 1969-2010 Subseries 2, Courses, 1892-2013 Subseries 3, International Programs, 1984-2012 Subseries 4, Writing, 1967-2006 Subseries 5, Saturday Art School, 1981-2011 Subseries 6, Special Projects, 1973-2017 Subseries 7, Presentations/Exhibitions, 1939-2017 Subseries 8, Miscellaneous, 1896-2015
Series 5, Grants, 1975-2001 Subseries 1, New York Times Company Foundation, 1999-2001 Subseries 2, Mellon Foundation, 1975-1987 Subseries 3, Annenburg, 1995-2001 Subseries 4, Miscellaneous Projects, 1971-2008
Series 6, Alumni, 1968-2016 Subseries 1, Newsletter, 1968-2008 Subseries 2, Alumni News, 1974-2006 Subseries 3, Alumni Correspondence, 1979-2016 Series 7, Subject Files, 1971-2017 Subseries 1, Art Education and Pedagogy, 1963-2017 Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1971-2017 Subseries 3, Storytelling, 1939-2018 Subseries 4, Reference Images and Works, 1480-2012 Subseries 5, Folk Art, 1973-2015 Subseries 6, Functional Needs Education, 1978-2009
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Pratt Institute Archives acquired the Amy Brook Snider Papers through gift by the estate of Amy Brook Snider in 2019.
No further accruals are expected.
This collection was processed and finding aid written by Brendan Enright from October 17th, 2022 to April 17th, 2023. Previous partial processing was done by Sarah Cuk, Zeneida Disla, Cameron Dudzisz, Teresa Ferguson, Elizabeth George, Elliott Hadwin, Piruz Haney, Maya Lekach, Vic Panata, Lisa Peck, Nicole Rosengurt, Kc Stanziano, Ever Sugarman, and Emma Volk from January 24, 2022 to May 9, 2022 as part of the Pratt Institute School of Information Management of Archives and Special Collections Spring 2022. Arrangement and description was completed under the supervision of Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez, Institute Archivist.
Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Finding aid written in English.
- Art Subject Source: Fast
- Art--Study and teaching Subject Source: Fast
- Art--Study and teaching (Elementary) Subject Source: Fast
- Arts and children Subject Source: Fast
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.) Subject Source: Fast
- Education--Outlines, syllabi, etc Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Personal correspondence Subject Source: Fast
- Photographs Subject Source: Fast
- Universities and colleges--Faculty Subject Source: Fast
- Guide to the Amy Brook Snider Papers
- Under Revision
- Brendan Enright, Sarah Cuk, Zeneida Disla, Cameron Dudzisz, Teresa Ferguson, Elizabeth George, Elliott Hadwin, Piruz Haney, Maya Lekach, Vic Panata, Lisa Peck, Nicole Rosengurt, Kc Stanziano, Ever Sugarman, and Emma Volk.
- April 17th, 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Pratt Institute Archives Repository
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