Skip to main content

Records of the Department of Exhibitions

Identifier: PI-008

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Department of Exhibitions date from 1896 to 2016 and cover all exhibitions that have been hosted at Pratt Institute-owned locations on both the Brooklyn and Manhattan campuses. The records included in this collection consist of item checklists, exhibition catalogs, photographs of exhibitions, flyers and brochures, and press releases. Although the majority of the exhibitions contain an item checklist that lists the dates, artists, items, and occasionally insurance value, the rest of the records for individual exhibitions are inconsistent. These records can range from one press release about an exhibition to several copies of many types of documentation. Related to this collection is the Scrapbook collection that contains printed matter from early exhibitions. Although not all of the materials in the Scrapbooks relate to exhibitions, there may be useful information available here—from catalogs and invitations to newspaper reviews and clippings.

The first series, About the Department of Exhibitions, includes various exhibition schedules, important exhibition checklists, publicity from the department, and unknown date and location exhibition materials. Series 2 through 4 are based on the location of the exhibition: Pratt Manhattan Center, Institute Galleries, and Miscellaneous Locations.

Included at the end of the Miscellaneous Locations series are exhibition records that were maintained by former librarians that are Pratt-related exhibitions that took place off-campus or tangentially Pratt-associated exhibitions that took place off-campus. Many of the tangentially Pratt-associated exhibitions are alumni exhibitions at various New York City galleries.


  • Creation: 1896 - 2023
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1970 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to the public.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish, contact the Archivist, Pratt Institute Library.

Biographical / Historical

Although it has not always been called the Department of Exhibitions, there has been some agency to coordinate exhibitions at Pratt Institute since at least 1896. In the early decades of the Institute, exhibitions were held in the gallery of the Library; the Museum displayed its permanent collection, as well as travelling exhibits and one-time showings.

Beginning in the 1960s, exhibitions were frequently held at the Manhattan outposts of Pratt Institute. These satellite campuses have changed addresses several times over the years: 46 Park Avenue until 1974, 160 Lexington Avenue (Pratt-Phoenix School of Design) until the 1980s, 295 Lafayette Street (Puck Building) through the 1990s, and 144 West 14th Street since 2001. Despite the changing addresses, the Manhattan campuses have always been referred to as Pratt Manhattan Center. Many major exhibitions continue to be held at the Pratt Manhattan Center where the Department of Exhibitions is located.

The Institute Galleries on the Pratt Institute campus in Brooklyn have changed buildings more than once. The original galleries in the Main Building were originally called the Institute Galleries, but were renamed the Norman and Rubelle Schafler Galleries in the 1990s. The Schafler Gallery is now located in the Chemistry Building and hosts many of the student exhibitions.

The Department of Exhibitions have hosted events at many other locations, both on and off campus. These locations include Higgins Hall, the Pratt Graphics Center, Steuben Hall, the President’s Gallery (in Main Building), Dekalb Hall, East Hall, ISC building, Terian Design Center, the Decoration and Design Building, the Library, and on campus in general. Moreover, Pratt students and faculty have been involved in exhibitions around the world as part of their curriculum.


5.95 Linear Feet (17 boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



The Department of Exhibitions has hosted art exhibitions in various locations on and off the Pratt Institute campus approximately since 1896. The exhibitions primarily highlight work by students, faculty, and community members. Records maintained in the course of the department’s activities include item checklists, photographs, press releases, flyers, and catalogs. The items in this collection range from 1896 to 2023.


The records are arranged in three series, and the arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series 1. About the Department of Exhibitions, circa 1896-2015 Series 2. Exhibition Records by Location, 1909-2023 Series 3. Exhibition Records by Date, 1961-2001

The records in series 2. Exhibition Records by Location, 1909-2023 are arranged primarily by the location of the exhibitions and are then arranged chronologically by the opening date. Records in series 3. Exhibition Records by Date, 1961-2001 are arranged chronologically regardless of location as reflected in the department's original file structure. There may be some overlap of material between series 2 and 3.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The bulk of this collection was collected by Libraries staff over the course of the Exhibition's department history. Series 3 consists of materials tranferred directly from the Department of Exhibitions in August of 2022.


Further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Several documents from the Records of the Department of Exhibits have been digitized and are available online.

Related Materials

Records of the School of Art and Design (PI-010)


Harmful Language Statement

If you encounter any pejorative language (i.e. racist, homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic) or content in the finding aids or within the content of the collection, please send an email to with the relevant details. For more information about how the Pratt Institute Libraries are addressing offensive language and content across its catalogs and databases, please see the Libraries' Harmful Language Statement:

Processing Information

This collection was processed and finding aid written by Ian Post in 2014. Series 3. Exhibition Records by Date, 1961-2001 was processed and described by Anna Collins, Emma Burke, Rose Killelea, and Melissa Nuber on November 21, 2022 as part of the Pratt Institute School of Information Management of Archives and Special Collections Fall 2022 course with the supervision of Cristina Fontánez Rodríguez, Institute Archivist. Additional records were added to Series 3 after processing and description by Pratt Institute School of Information graduate students from the Spring 2023 course, Management of Archives and Special Collections. These records were added on November 17, 2023 after review and standardization by Brendan Enright and Alyse Delaney. Descriptive Rules Used: Finding aid adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Finding aid written in English.

Guide to the Records of the Department of Exhibitions
Ian Post
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Pratt Institute Archives Repository

200 Willoughby Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11205 United States