Prattfolio "125th Anniversary Commemorative Issue"

Page 1

New York Times Magazine Design Director Arem Duplessis

(M.S. Communications Design ’96) designed the 125th Anniversary Prattfolio cover. “I wanted to do something celebratory, something COLOSSAL!” he says. “At first I was leaning toward illustration or photography, but didn’t think it would achieve the immediacy I was seeking. Type seemed like the best solution—big type with a big message. It made sense to go across the spine to give the copy some real presence. A century and a quarter is a HUGE achievement! The largeimpact type combined with the silver foil stamp helps convey the magnitude of such a significant occasion.” As for his time at Pratt, Duplessis credits legendary Professor Tony Di Spigna with teaching him lessons about type that he holds with him to this day. “Pratt really helped me develop an eye for detail and the ability to present and sell my work,” he says, adding that his time in the program also taught him

A President’s Perspective 4 An interview with President Thomas Schutte by Kurt Andersen

Building a Legacy 8 An architectural history of Pratt by Francis Morrone MAKING HISTORY 14 A decade-by-decade look at Pratt’s 125-year history and the iconic work by alumni and faculty that influenced the world The founding years 16 The Turn of the Century 20 The Teens and Twenties 24 The THIRTIES 28

tenacity along with “a million” other lessons. “When I first attended Pratt, I was living in the Bronx. I used to commute on the subway, which took about two hours. After leaving the computer lab on the Brooklyn campus, generally around 1 AM, I would begin my commute home, which inevitably ended with the conductor waking me in some crazy place past my stop. They say if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. I certainly survived!” Today, Duplessis leads a department that was named Design Team of the Year by the Art Directors Club for both 2009 and 2010. During his tenure, the magazine has received nearly 100 awards from the Society of Publication Designers and the Art Directors Club. The Type Directors Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts also have recognized his work. Duplessis received the Pratt Institute Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.

34 The FORTIES 44 The FIFTIES 54 The SIXTIES 64 The SEVENTIES 72 The EIGHTIES 80 The NINETIES 88 The 2000s 94 CELEBRATING 125 YEARS Kickoff coverage; The Memory Project; Upcoming events; and Pratt pride at 125 100 YOU CURATE An invitation to help build a virtual gallery of the greatest works by Pratt alumni and faculty



125 anniversary pr attfolio


New York Times Magazine Design Director Arem Duplessis

(M.S. Communications Design ’96) designed the 125th Anniversary Prattfolio cover. “I wanted to do something celebratory, something COLOSSAL!” he says. “At first I was leaning toward illustration or photography, but didn’t think it would achieve the immediacy I was seeking. Type seemed like the best solution—big type with a big message. It made sense to go across the spine to give the copy some real presence. A century and a quarter is a HUGE achievement! The largeimpact type combined with the silver foil stamp helps convey the magnitude of such a significant occasion.” As for his time at Pratt, Duplessis credits legendary Professor Tony Di Spigna with teaching him lessons about type that he holds with him to this day. “Pratt really helped me develop an eye for detail and the ability to present and sell my work,” he says, adding that his time in the program also taught him

A President’s Perspective 4 An interview with President Thomas Schutte by Kurt Andersen

Building a Legacy 8 An architectural history of Pratt by Francis Morrone MAKING HISTORY 14 A decade-by-decade look at Pratt’s 125-year history and the iconic work by alumni and faculty that influenced the world The founding years 16 The Turn of the Century 20 The Teens and Twenties 24 The THIRTIES 28

tenacity along with “a million” other lessons. “When I first attended Pratt, I was living in the Bronx. I used to commute on the subway, which took about two hours. After leaving the computer lab on the Brooklyn campus, generally around 1 AM, I would begin my commute home, which inevitably ended with the conductor waking me in some crazy place past my stop. They say if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. I certainly survived!” Today, Duplessis leads a department that was named Design Team of the Year by the Art Directors Club for both 2009 and 2010. During his tenure, the magazine has received nearly 100 awards from the Society of Publication Designers and the Art Directors Club. The Type Directors Club and the American Institute of Graphic Arts also have recognized his work. Duplessis received the Pratt Institute Alumni Achievement Award in 2012.

34 The FORTIES 44 The FIFTIES 54 The SIXTIES 64 The SEVENTIES 72 The EIGHTIES 80 The NINETIES 88 The 2000s 94 CELEBRATING 125 YEARS Kickoff coverage; The Memory Project; Upcoming events; and Pratt pride at 125 100 YOU CURATE An invitation to help build a virtual gallery of the greatest works by Pratt alumni and faculty



The Magazine of Pratt Institute



Prattfolio is published by the Office of Communications in the Division of Institutional Advancement for the alumni and friends of Pratt Institute. ©2012 Pratt Institute Pratt Institute

200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205 Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Todd Michael Galitz photo: rené perez

n behalf of Pratt Institute and the Board of Trustees, it gives me great pleasure to present this special commemorative issue of Prattfolio, which celebrates the Institute’s extraordinary achievements and impact during its first 125 years. The world has changed a great deal since my great-great-grandfather, Charles Pratt, established the school and the first group of 12 drawing students began classes in October 1887. It is a testament to the founder’s vision that Pratt Institute has remained at the forefront of that change, adapting to the times and, at the same time, helping to shape them. From developing the airplane for Charles Lindbergh’s historic transatlantic flight to designing medical diagnostic equipment for use in rural Africa, Pratt alumni and faculty members have ushered in many of the pioneering ideas that paved the way to a better life for us all, decade after decade. Having two artists as parents—a photographer and an actor—I have a strong and very personal appreciation for the impact that creativity has on both the individual artist and on society. By capturing or interpreting a specific aspect of the world to which they felt connected, each gave form to those very personal experiences and created something special to give back to the world. At Pratt, a similar process takes place every day. From architects who form the environments in which we live and work, and designers who elevate functional objects to sources of joy, to artists, writers, and information specialists who capture and transmit ideas, Pratt’s students, faculty, and alumni use their talents to transform our world and shape our experiences. Many of their innovations and iconic works are presented in the pages that follow. Together, they form a visual representation of Pratt’s legacy—and its promise. I’m extremely proud of all that we have achieved over the past 125 years and hope that you, as valued members of the Pratt community, share my sentiments as you consider the remarkable impact that the Institute has made on the world. Pratt’s heritage is your heritage, and your achievements are a living contribution to the Institute’s tradition of making history. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together as a Pratt community in the decades to come.

Executive Director of Communications

Mara McGinnis Articles Editor

Alix Finkelstein Editorial Manager

Abigail Beshkin Writer

Adrienne Gyongy Creative Director

Christine Peterson Senior Art Director

Anna Ostrovsky Multimedia Designer

Joshua Graver Senior Production Manager

Jennifer Ashlock Contributors

Jenny-Lind Angel Amy Aronoff
 Laura Bourgeois Yelena Deyneko Karelisa Falkner Charlotte Savidge
 KC Trommer Kate Ünver Anna Welch PRINTING

Conceptual Litho Special thanks to Paul E. Schlotthauer, librarian and archivist, Pratt Institute Library, and the staff of the library’s Visual Resources Center. Please submit address changes to or call 718-399-4447. The editorial staff of Prattfolio would like to hear from you. Please send comments, ideas, and questions to

Mike Pratt Chair, Board of Trustees


125 anniversary pr attfolio

Unfortunately, we cannot publish all unsolicited submissions, but we consider all ideas and greatly appreciate your feedback. All historical photographs courtesy of the Pratt Institute Archives unless otherwise indicated.


Your Vision for the Future

“Making a planned gift to Pratt for scholarships was the perfect way for me to help future generations launch their creative careers.”

— Laura Bohn, B.F.A. ’77

Create a Legacy, Lead the Way Over the past 125 years, Pratt Institute has established a creative legacy that has impacted every aspect of the art and design world. A planned gift to Pratt is an easy way to leave a legacy to tomorrow’s visionaries. Your investment in them can benefit you, too. There are many giving options that can help fulfill your charitable and financial goals.

Make a planned gift to Pratt today through a bequest or life income plan. • 718.399.4296 • plannedgiving

125 anniversary pr attfolio




Photographs by SheiLa Metzner, B.F.A. ’60

At t h e s ta r t o f P r att ’ s 1 2 5 t h a n n i v e r s a r y y e a r , K u r t A n d e r s e n , WRI T ER AND P r att T r u s t e e , s at d o w n w i t h P r att P r e s i d e n t T h o m a s F. Sc h u tt e i n h i s h o m e at t h e C a r o l i n e L a d d P r att H o u s e i n B r o o kly n t o ta lk a b o u t l e a d i n g P r att f o r n e a r ly t w o d e c a d e s a n d w h at ’ s n e xt f o r t h e I n s t i t u t e .

KURT ANDERSEN: When Pratt opened, electrification and THOMAS F. SCHUTTE: The world is catching up to telecommunications were new, urbanization was happening at an incredible

Pratt. Today, art and design are receiving so much visibility and attention.

pace, and American architecture and art were just taking off. In retrospect,

Some even talk about the M.F.A. degree as “the new M.B.A.” I have been a

it was great timing to have started Pratt Institute at a moment when modern

college president within the arts arena for a number of years and never have

America was being created. Now we’re in the middle of another such

I experienced what we are experiencing now with the visibility of design, the

inflection point and it strikes me that it’s a moment when Pratt almost needs

appreciation of good design, the importance of design in problem solving,

to be refounded. If you think about the changes we’re going through, is Pratt

and the connectedness of design to the way things look, the way things

changing as much now as it was at the time it began?

work. To me, this is very exciting. I think it’s a major moment.


125 anniversary pr attfolio


You can’t open a book or a magazine without seeing the phrase

TFS: One of the things that we worked on when I first came to Pratt almost

“design thinking” used, which puts Pratt in a very good place. It seems to

20 years ago was to convert Pratt from essentially a local commuter school

me that it is important to represent the pure aesthetic side of things, as well.

into a national residential college. We had about 2,700 students then and

Do art and design feed each other at Pratt?

we have 4,700 students today. When I started, about 75 to 80 percent of


the school was local and commuting. Today, about 90 percent of freshmen

Absolutely. At Pratt, one of the things we’re actively promoting is

interdisciplinary studies and linkages of one kind of department with another department—faculty in industrial design working with faculty in painting, for instance. The aesthetics of the fine arts are so critically important for educating, informing, and developing design. A designer leaves Pratt with some fine arts in him or her.


Are the inevitable tensions that exist between various disciplines

a healthy thing? Is part of the job of Pratt to figure out how to use that tension constructively?

live on campus. We also set about to diversify the student body, attracting new talent from the West Coast, East Coast, North, and South. And we achieved it, and opened up an awareness of Pratt that didn’t exist in some regions and brought a greater number of applications to us. Another thing that we did was to take a student body that was very heavily part-time and focus on building a core undergraduate population that was largely fulltime. Today, 99 percent of our undergraduates are full-time and 85 percent of our graduate students are full-time.

KA: Compared with other schools of art and design, is there a philosophical

TFS: Yes, we use it in a productive way. I think that we are in an era now

difference between the kind of education that takes place here at Pratt?

when there is such excitement about cross-disciplinary work that a painter


working with a graphic designer, for instance, has real respect and regard for the benefits of collaboration.


Your 19 years here have corresponded almost precisely with the

world’s digital revolution. Do you feel as if Pratt has kept up, in terms of accommodating those very different ways of making art, design, and architecture, and of distributing work?


I would say that we are not only keeping up, we’re on the cutting

edge. There’s also a related phenomenon that I’ve watched with incoming

Pratt has a practice of focusing on conceptual and theoretical

thinking. At the same time, we have a terrific practical training on how to apply skills learned here to the real world. The fact that we have a blend and a balance of theory and application is one of the things that makes Pratt so remarkable.

KA: I’ve been involved with the Institute for practically a decade, and what struck me is that last thing you said, that there is intellectual discourse here, but it’s also very much a hands-on place of workshops. That is, it seems to me, the vital tension that you’re administering, right?

P E R S P ECT I V E freshmen, who now come with technical aspirations along with knowledge,

TFS: Yes. A couple of years ago, the dean of our School of Architecture,

skills, and abilities.

Tom Hanrahan, asked the students if they had thoughts about Pratt’s

KA: When Pratt began, photography was still pretty new, and all these new

architecture curriculum. One of the things that surprised us was the

tools began to transform the nature of visual communication and design. We’re at a moment now that’s similar in terms of the world being changed.

outpouring of student interest in all the labs and the hands-on work. They noted that many other architecture schools don’t have all of that.

It strikes me that the great artists, architects, and graphic designers I know


are all broadly educated and curious about the world. They read and know

hands on the stuff.

things other than how to spec type or about building materials or how to mix

TFS: Absolutely.

colors. If Pratt is doing its job, in addition to the technical training to be an architect, painter, or designer, you’re not going to be great if you don’t have a larger sense of the world, how it connects, and what happened one hundred years ago.


So computer-aided design is fine, but people still want to get their

KA: One hundred twenty five years ago, Brooklyn was not yet part of New York City. Even 30 years ago, if anyone had said Brooklyn was about to become the stylish, cosmopolitan, creative-class epicenter of New York, the response would have been, “Ah, sure, good luck with that.” But it’s

Pratt has one of the very best liberal arts and science programs of

become that. Brooklyn is arguably the center of the creative world, and

any college of art and design in the country. The faculty in our School of

Pratt is right in the center of it. I wonder how that is changing the nature of

Liberal Arts and Sciences help students to understand the liberal arts and

the Pratt education and the way Pratt thinks about itself?

to apply what they are learning in their work and lives.

TFS: Well, it’s no longer a secret that Brooklyn is this hot spot for creativity


and innovation. The economy has helped us because there’s been such a

How has a Pratt educational experience changed over the past

few decades?

movement to Brooklyn because there’s more affordable space.

125 anniversary pr attfolio


KA: What Soho was in the ’60s and ’70s, Brooklyn is now. TFS:

Yes, exactly. And we’ve got a number of historic districts now in

Brooklyn, as well as a thriving community of creative professionals and entrepreneurs, which Pratt is nurturing through its Design Incubator for

create new residential environments for students, for instance. New and renovated studio spaces are critical to the educational experience and will be a major focus.

KA: Turning to another important topic: Globalization is a catchword but it obviously is among the most important driving factors of culture and the economy today. And thinking again about the students and faculty at a

The fact that we have a blend and a balance of theory and application is one of the things that makes Pratt so remarkable.

place like Pratt, my sense is that studying abroad is not as large a part of the Pratt experience as it could be. Is that true?

TFS: For the reasons you mention, it’s definitely important for us to expand these opportunities. We’ve got several major study abroad programs. We have student exchange relationships with about 15 institutions around the

Sustainable Innovation in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The neighborhood is

world. For instance, we have an architecture program in Rome that’s a whole

much safer than it used to be, and Pratt has been a central player in the

semester in the spring. So, altogether, somewhere around 15 to 20 percent

whole revitalization effort.

of our undergraduates currently have an international study experience. We

KA: It’s as though the “brand” of Pratt and the “brand” of Brooklyn sort of

agree that’s not enough, and we have just created a new staff position to

rose at the same time. The physical campus, when I first visited here 9 or 10 years ago, just immediately made me fall in love with the place, although

direct all international programs. It’s exciting that we’re expanding these opportunities now.

even 10 years ago it was a bit tattered. That’s been a significant focus of

KA: First

what you’ve been doing the last decade, right?

Now it’s on to the rest of the world.

you turned Pratt from a commuter school to a national school.

TFS: When I came to Pratt, we didn’t need lawn mowers. We hardly had two

TFS: Yes, and remember, at the international student level, 70 countries are

blades of grass that needed to be cut. We had mud holes. Buildings were

represented at Pratt today.

practically falling down and roofs were leaking. But the entire community

KA: There are other art and design schools in New York and all over the

recognized and understood the difference it makes when the grounds are beautiful and when there are benches to sit on and grass to put blankets so you can sketch or paint or sleep.

KA: So much has been done, but it’s not finished, right? There’s still a lot

country that are for-profit businesses, but Pratt is a traditional nonprofit educational institution. Given that Pratt doesn’t have a huge endowment and is not a profit-making business, does that shape the nature of the education that takes place here?

of work to do.

TFS: Since you mention the endowment, I’ll note that increasing it is a top


There is much more work to do. We are going through a strategic

priority for us. And I would hope that it becomes a priority for our alumni and

planning process right now to prioritize our most urgent building needs for

all members of the Pratt community to help us build through contributions.

the next decade and beyond. These will likely include studios, spaces to

Endowed scholarships are such an important way for us to guarantee

showcase student work, technology-enhanced classrooms, on-campus

that current and future generations of talented students continue to have

residential needs, and spaces that generally meet the needs of the campus

the same life-altering experiences as earlier generations had. They are

community. One of our trustees, Bruce Newman, just gave us a major

continuing a great Pratt tradition. And this ties very closely to your question

gift to focus on important upgrades to our campus grounds. We are also

about what makes Pratt different from for-profit institutions. Our goals and

committed to campus renovations that are environmentally sustainable and

core values would be very different if we were a profit-making institution.

which, when appropriate, address historic preservation. We are currently

One of the fundamental aspects of what makes Pratt special is the

undertaking an important renovation of historic townhouses on campus to

tremendous bond, respect, and interaction between the student and Pratt,


125 anniversary pr attfolio

the student and the faculty member, the student and the department. It’s not a financial transaction.

KA: If you had to say, “These are the most important things we did at Pratt,

THEN | NOW P r e s i d e n t Sc h u tt e t o o k o f f i c e i n 1 9 9 3 a n d , s i n c e t h e n , P r att a n d B r o o kly n h av e s e e n a d r a m at i c t r a n s f o r m at i o n .

which were the right things to have done,” what would they be?



Total Enr o llm ent

2 ,994 4,722

accumulation of improvements that make Pratt what it is today, including

Fr es hman Applicatio ns

1 ,179 5,78 4

the strength of our students and faculty, the vitality of our enrollment, the

Acceptance R ate

7 7 % 4 6%

increasing widespread interest in the Institute, and the vibrancy of our

Res idential St udents

9 16 1, 623

campus and community.


5 28 1 , 0 32

KA: Twenty-five years from now, when Pratt reaches its 150th anniversary,


$ 6.9M $37.7M

Endo w ment

$ 1 3M

Def icit

$ 1 5.6M $ 0

I don’t know if I could say just one or two things. I think it is the

what are the biggest changes at Pratt, or within the realm of art and design higher education, that you think people will look back on and remark upon?




$1 0 0 M

Well, I think that one of the things that has been in transition is

the continuous development of so many of our visual arts departments, especially those where changing technology plays a huge role like film, photography, and digital arts. The continued strengthening of our departments and continuing to break new ground will be important. And I

Ft. Greene/C l i nto n Hi l l M edian Pr ice Single- Family Ho me*



< $ 41 2K $1–$2M

believe Pratt is going to keep doing that. One of the things that’s happened at Pratt is that we can tangibly feel our success without boasting. We’re

*According to data provided by the Furman Center for Real Estate and Public Policy.

draw that line for the last 20 years, it’s a pretty steep upward climb. Is it

Brooklyn is arguably the center of the creative world, and Pratt is right in the center of it.

reasonable to imagine that Pratt can continue on the same trajectory?

TFS: I expect that trajectory will continue. Year after year I am awed by the talent and ingenuity of our faculty and students. Pratt is already known as a world leader in art and design higher education, but I also see the Institute becoming a global force in addressing societal problems

looking at very strong departments from the standpoint of how can we make them even stronger, with the right mix of students, the right faculty, and the best facilities.

and challenges through the work we do. We’ve already seen this through our efforts with regard to sustainability design education. Tackling issues of sustainability is paramount to many of the artists, designers, library scientists, and other scholars working here today. And I would hope

KA: You can draw a line for all kinds of metrics—the scores and grades

that Pratt would continue to be a place that applies its creativity and

of the students, national rankings of Pratt’s various programs, etc. If you

knowledge to helping find solutions to the problems of the day. P

About the photographer: After graduating from Pratt, which she attended on a full scholarship, Sheila Metzner (B.F.A. Advertising Design ’60) became the first female art director at Doyle Dane Bernbach and today is known as a contemporary master in fine art, fashion, portraiture, still life, and landscape photography. “President Schutte is a marvelous man and a great subject for photography. His inner life and his dedication to Pratt shone through during the time we spent together,” said Metzner about the shoot for this piece. “It was an honor to be asked to document this historic anniversary and a delight to shoot in the Carolyn Ladd Pratt House.” Metzner’s most influential professors at Pratt were Abstract Expressionists James Brooks and Jack Tworkov. “If it weren’t for them, I might never have become a photographer,” she says. “I owe my life to those four years at Pratt.”

125 anniversary pr attfolio


building w r i tt e n b y f r a n c i s m o r r o n e

The distinguished building heritage of Pratt Institute is fitting given its status a s a c o l l e g e w i t h o n e o f t h e wo r l d ’s m o s t e s t e e m e d a rc h i t e c t u re s c h o o l s . I n 2 0 1 1 , A rc h i t e c t u r a l D i g e s t i n c l u d e d P r a t t o n i t s l i s t o f t h e c o u n t r y ’s 1 0 m o s t architecturally significant American college campuses–along with those of H a r v a r d , Ya l e , t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f V i r g i n i a , a n d t h e I l l i n o i s I n s t i t u t e o f Te c h n o l o g y. The magazine specifically cites the modern Steven Holl design for Higgins Hall, and the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill design for Leo J. Pantas Hall, built in the

Left to Right: Memorial Hall was built in 1925 in the Romanesque Revival style as a lecture hall. Main Building was the Institute's first building, where 12 students arrived on opening day. South Hall opened in 1892 and housed the High School of Pratt Institute. For a period during World War I, it was a Navy barracks.


125 anniversary pr attfolio


a legacy i ll u s t r at e d B y B r e tt a f f r u n t i , B . F. A . ' 0 8

1 9 8 0 s , b u t n o t e s t h a t , i n t h e e n d , “ i t ’s t h e d o z e n s o f s t r u c t u re s b u i l t b e t we e n 1 8 8 5 a n d Wo r l d Wa r II t h a t p u t P r a t t o n t h e N a t i o n a l R e g i s t e r o f H i s t o r i c P l a c e s .” N e a r l y a l l o f P r a t t ’ s h i s t o r i c b u i l d i n g s h a v e b e e n o f f i c i a l l y d e s i g n a t e d N e w Yo r k C i t y o r N e w Yo r k S t a t e l a n d m a r k s , a n d P r a t t ’ s e n t i r e c a m p u s i s o n t h e N a t i o n a l R e g i s t e r of Historic Places. The more recent buildings continue to win awards for their innovative designs. It is this blend of old and new that makes the Pratt Institute c a m p u s a n a r c h i t e c t u r a l m i c r o c o s m o f i t s g r e a t c i t y.

Francis Morrone is an architectural historian and author of multiple books on New York City and Brooklyn. He is well known for his city tours, and served as an art and architecture critic for The New York Sun for nearly seven years.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



he Institute’s founder, Charles Pratt, moved cautiously, as he was not sure that his enterprise would pan out. “Pratt Institute was opened today, but owing to the fact that work on the building has not progressed so rapidly as was expected, only one department, Drawing, begins its sessions,” reported The Brooklyn Daily Eagle on October 17, 1887. Then, Pratt Institute’s Main Building, the structure to which the Eagle referred, did not face a lawn, much less a sculpture park, but a city street. Pratt had hired Hugh Lamb and Charles Alonzo Rich to design the Institute’s first building. Pratt, like many builders, worked with only a few trusted architects—Ebenezer Roberts, Lamb & Rich, and William B. Tubby. Lamb & Rich was already known for designing houses. Main Building was its first academic commission, but the firm went on to shape the campuses of such colleges as Dartmouth, Barnard, and Smith. On Ryerson Street, however, its work had an industrial, rather than collegiate, look. This was not inappropriate for a school dedicated to training in the manual and mechanical arts, but it also reflected Charles Pratt’s thinking: If his Institute did not succeed, its buildings might be converted into factories. P r att ’ s O r i g i n a l B u i l d i n g s Main Building is Romanesque Revival in style, which was highly popular in the 1880s. The building is medieval and fortress-like, its window design willfully varied (here, a single window, there, a double or a triple window). In 1894, the Institute’s directors ordered a portico, twin-arched and jutting from the center bay of the building, which was designed by the renowned architect William B. Tubby. This simple gesture lent a distinctly nonindustrial touch to the structure. Today, when students seat themselves with books and iPods on the porch’s balustrades, no sight quite says “college” like Main Building. Tubby had apprenticed with the architect Ebenezer Roberts, who designed Charles Pratt’s personal mansion at 232 Clinton Avenue

Top: Built in 1896, the Pratt Library was open to all Brooklyn residents until 1940, when the Central Library of the Brooklyn Public Library opened at Grand Army Plaza. Left to Right: The Chemistry Building was built in 1904 to accommodate the growing number of courses demanding knowledge of physical sciences. The Machinery Building went up in 1914. The Engineering Building was built in 1928 as Pratt’s science and technology departments expanded.

(now part of St. Joseph’s College). When Roberts died in 1890, Tubby took over the practice and received several Pratt commissions, including design of the mansion for Pratt’s oldest son, Charles Millard Pratt. Now the residence of Brooklyn’s Catholic bishop, the mansion was one of four built by Pratt for each of his first four sons. The only one that remains in the school’s possession is the Caroline Ladd Pratt House. Named for the wife of the home’s original owner, Frederic Bayley Pratt, it was designed by Babb, Cook & Willard and built in 1895. Known as Pratt House, it remains one of Brooklyn’s most splendid Beaux Arts mansions. Beautifully restored in the early 1990s, the house is now used for Institute events and includes private residences for the current president and rooms for several students.

Today, when students seat themselves with books and iPods on the porch’s balustrades, no sight quite says “college” like Main Building. Before Charles Pratt’s sudden death in 1891, he commissioned three additional buildings—now known as East Building, the Student Union, and South Hall—and all were connected along Ryerson Street. Classical in style, East Building, originally known as the Mechanic Arts Building, was built to house the Institute’s mechanical plant, which was listed in 1977 as a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. In 1896, three steam engines were installed to provide electric power to the Institute’s buildings and to serve as a teaching tool. (The engines provided power to the Institute until 2004.) Also completed in 1887 was the Trade School Building (now the Student Union), a Colonial Revival-style building also designed by Tubby, where courses in bricklaying, plumbing, and sign painting were taught. Ten years later, it was remodeled into a public gymnasium with a swimming pool. Tubby also designed South Hall, a Romanesquestyle building.


p r att ' s B ROO K LYN C A M P US









B r o o kly n ’ s F i r s t F r e e L i b r a r y In 1890, the Institute opened one of the country’s first library schools, with the Pratt Free Library, located in Main Building, serving as its laboratory. Since it was the city’s only free public library, excessive demand for its services led to the construction of a stand-alone library building. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on January 20, 1895: “Pratt Institute’s new library building…is gradually nearing completion. When ready for occupancy it will be one of the most imposing structures in this big city.” The dedication on May 26, 1896, was a grand event led by Pratt President Frederic Bayley Pratt, the founder’s second of six sons. (He had two daughters.) The Pratt Library, designed by Tubby, is a Rundbogenstil, or roundarch-style building with splendid interiors, including ornamental iron staircase railings, columns of Siena marble, and tessellated floors all designed by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. In 1912, Tubby added the Children’s Portico to the rear of the building (today’s front)

DE K A L B AV E . L a fay e tt e AV E .


C a mp u s G r o w t h 1 8 8 7– 2 0 1 2 1 8 8 7– 1 9 0 7 Main Building East Building St u d e n t U n i o n S o u t h H a ll Libr ary Townhouses Chemistry Building 1914–1928 Machinery Building T h r i f t H a ll M e m o r i a l H a ll Engineering Building 1954–1970 D e K a lb H a ll I n f o r m at i o n Sc i e n c e C e n t e r N o r t h H a ll E s t h e r L l o y d -J o n e s H a ll

A c Q U IRE D : •Willoughby Hall • P r at t S t u d i o s •Higgins Hall •Steuben Hall 1974–2010 Act i v i t i e s R e s o u r c e Center Cannoneer Court L e o J . Pa n ta s H a ll V i n c e n t A . Sta b i l e HA L L P r att s t o r e H i g g i n s H a ll C e n t e r S e ct i o n J u l i a n a C u r r a n T e r i a n D e s i g n Center M y r tl e H a ll


so children could enter the Children’s Reading Room from Library Park without disturbing the adults. In 1982, Giorgio Cavaglieri and Warren Gran restored the building and added the south terrace, and the Children’s Portico was moved to outside the Activities Resource Center (ARC), where it stands today. T h e I n f l u e n c e o f H o w e ll s & St o k e s The firm of John Mead Howells and I. N. Phelps Stokes shaped Pratt’s campus during the first quarter of the 20th century. Several buildings went up on the east side of Grand Avenue under President Frederic Bayley Pratt, including the Chemistry Building, which was designed in the “arcaded” style of many late-19th-century warehouses and skyscrapers. Howells & Stokes later designed the Manual Training Building, now the Machinery Building, and Howells designed the Engineering Building. It is remarkable that this group of buildings— Chemistry, Machinery, Engineering—maintains such a unity of style though they were built over a 25-year period.

What had been a jumble of buildings on the bustling streets of Brooklyn became a proper, enclosed campus. Howells designed Memorial Hall, an assembly hall honoring Charles Pratt’s second wife, Mary, which completed the main row along Ryerson Street. Sculptor René Chambellan completed the highly stylized relief sculpture—it was not at all unusual for Art Deco to be combined with Romanesque Revival—on the building’s exterior. Two other developments rounded out Pratt’s building program before it would experience a long hiatus. Picturesque red brick row

houses were built on Steuben Street and Willoughby Avenue in 1907. Designed by Hobart A. Walker, these units served for many years as Pratt faculty housing and are currently undergoing renovation to become housing for undergraduate students. Thrift Hall, designed by the prolific apartment building architects Shampan & Shampan, is a Georgian Revival building of red brick with limestone trim that originally housed a savings-andloan bank founded to help working people obtain mortgages. The bank closed in the 1940s, and the building has since housed Pratt administrative offices. By the time the stock market crashed in 1929, Pratt Institute 4 had spread out with buildings on Ryerson Street, Grand Avenue, Steuben Street, and Emerson Place between DeKalb and Willoughby avenues. But these were all still through streets—and the elevated train still shadowed Grand Avenue and filled it with clangorous noise. Following the stock market crash, economic depression and war halted the Institute’s physical development until the mid-1950s. Poised for a New Era In January 1954, the City of New York unanimously approved an urban renewal project, spearheaded by Robert Moses, as chair of the Mayor’s Slum Clearance Committee. With this, and the dismantling of the elevated train line on Grand Avenue, Pratt was poised for a new era. A “superblock” was created, which meant that Ryerson Street, Grand Avenue, Steuben Street, and Emerson Place between DeKalb and Willoughby avenues were closed to traffic. Two of the streets, Ryerson and Grand, continue to connect DeKalb to Willoughby, but only as pedestrian paths. The other two were truncated. With the construction of several new Pratt buildings, and with the infilling of the spaces among Pratt’s buildings with lawns and walkways, what had been a jumble of buildings on the bustling streets of Brooklyn became a proper, enclosed campus. The dominant architectural firm at Pratt Institute in the 1950s was the legendary McKim, Mead & White. Their Pratt works—in the unornamented modernist style that characterized the urban renewal projects of the 1940s (think Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan)—include the Information Science Center (originally a women’s dormitory), DeKalb Hall (originally a men’s dormitory), and North Hall (originally the Student Union). The major architectural advancement for Pratt Institute in the

Top: Higgins Hall is made up of three sections, with the north and south buildings dating back to the 19th century. The center section opened in 2005. Right: The Juliana Curran Terian Design Center was created in 2007 by linking Pratt Studios and Steuben Hall with a glass pavilion, which serves as a design gallery, and was designed by Hanrahan Meyers Architects.


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1960s was the acquisition of two buildings that housed the former Adelphi Academy. Both are large, prominently gabled Romanesque Revival structures, which ultimately became Higgins Hall, home to Pratt’s School of Architecture. The 1970s brought to Pratt the ARC, designed by Ezra Ehrenkrantz and Daniel Tully. The 1980s at Pratt belonged to Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which contributed two residence halls, Leo J. Pantas Hall and Cannoneer Court. Both employ a light-handed postmodernist style in brick and were meant to be more “contextual” than the campus additions of the 1950s and 1970s. The boldly scaled Vincent J. Stabile Hall design by Pasanella, Klein, Stolzman, Berg, Architects was built in 1999, and recalls the work of the modern master Louis Kahn. That same year, the Institute acquired a stately 1896 Renaissance Revival– style building on West 14th Street in Manhattan designed by Brunner & Tryon—stylistically akin to Howells & Stokes’s buildings on the Brooklyn campus. The new MillenniuM Higgins Hall suffered a disastrous fire in 1996, but redemption came in 2005 when Pratt opened a new central section to replace what had been damaged. Unlike the 1980s, when work at Pratt sought to blend in with the older campus, designer Steven Holl felt the right solution at Higgins Hall was something dramatically different. Described by one commentator as a “phosphorescent light box,” Holl’s “intervention” (an architectural term) brought to Pratt its most dazzling piece of au courant design and was the architect’s first work in New York City, though his world-renowned practice had been based in the city for 25 years. A similar intervention occurred a year later when Hanrahan Meyers Architects, the firm of Thomas Hanrahan, dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, created the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center by creating an impressive 6,000-square-foot centerpiece between the Pratt Studios building and Steuben Hall, two former factories on DeKalb Avenue. Facing into the campus, the boldly cantilevered stainless steel framed box “opens up the entry pavilion to the quadrangle visually, especially at night, like a large, deep-set window,” according to Hanrahan. The latest addition to the Brooklyn campus came in 2010 with Myrtle Hall, a 120,000-square-foot structure designed by WASA/Studio A. It is Pratt’s first “green building” (it received LEED Gold certification by the U.S. Green Buildings Council) and represents the Institute’s commitment to sustainability education and practice.

a s p e c Ta c u l a r u r b a n l a n d s c a p e While the Institute’s magnificent buildings convey a fascinating history, Pratt’s campus grounds have only reached their full glory over the last 20 years. Current president Thomas F. Schutte’s efforts to improve the grounds, which included turning the 25-acre campus into the Pratt Sculpture Park and rejuvenating the campus Rose Garden, have awed local residents and visitors in recent years. Significant campus improvement efforts, made possible by alumni donors, including Bruce M. Newman (B.F.A. Interior Design ’53) and Hiroko Nakamoto, have created grand walkways and entrances, attractive outdoor seating areas, and stunning works of landscape architecture that give clear definition to a campus environment that city streets and elevated trains once traversed. It is this park-like urban environment, combined with a harmonizing layout of traditional and contemporary buildings, that have created a unique urban campus that continues to draw and inspire students from around the world. The most recent additions and improvements demonstrate a continued commitment to a balance between addressing primary educational needs and deep respect for the historic environment as well as leadership through innovative design. With Pratt now poised for the next phase of its physical evolution, the Institute will surely continue to build upon this solid foundation established through successive generations who have collectively developed one of the nation’s most admired campuses. P


About the illustrAtor: brett Affrunti (b.F.A. Communications Design '08) is an illustrator and artist based in brooklyn. since graduating from Pratt institute, he has worked for clients including travel + leisure, the New York times, and the Washington Post. Affrunti enjoys drawing on location as he did for these drawings of Pratt institute. "being on campus again reminded me of how much history and architectural beauty is all over Pratt and its surrounding neighborhood," he said.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



125 anniversary pr attfolio In du strial Ceramics


Adve r tis ing Design

Inte rior Decora tion and Crafts

Lettering an d Comme rcia l Illustration

Ar t Education

Ar t Metal

Wood a nd Leath er Car ving



Color an d P erspective

190 9: School of Domestic Science (Ho u sehold Science a nd Arts)

Life Drawing

Food Se r v ice Administration

Retailin g a nd M erchandising

Comme rcial Fashion Design

Lin gerie Design

Laborator y Tech niqu e an d Chemistr y


Budgeting an d Accounts

Hous e Furnishing

Pa tte rn M aking a nd Draping

Hos pita l Dietetics

Costume Design

Laundr y

Che mistr y of Foods

Hyg ien e a nd Home Nursing

Cooker y


1 8 97: Lib r a ry Scho o l ( I n f o r m at i o n an d Li br ary Scien ce)

Milliner y

K n owle dge Organization


M us eu m Libraries

Spe cial C ollections

Libra r y an d In forma tion Science

Medical Lib rarianship

Inte rlibra r y Ser vice

Ch ildre n’s Literature

Govern men t Documents

Curre nt Eve nts an d P eriodicals

Ca talogin g a nd Cla ssification


Ph on ogra phy a nd Typewriting


MAKING HISTORY 1 9 09 : School of Fi n e a n d Applied Arts (A rt a n d D e si gn )

125 anniversary pr attfolio Writer ’s Studio

Profe ssion al Communications


Physica l Education

M ilita r y Science

M odern Languages



Social Science

Ame rican an d Eu ropean Histor y

1 9 54 : School of Architecture

En glish Lan gu ag e an d Literature

Conce pts o f Heritage

Prin ciple s of Facilities Management

Sustaina ble Co mmunities

Urba n Economics

Ecolog y for Architects

Histor y an d The or y of Architecture

Architectu ral Cons truction and Design

190 9: Scho o l o f Scien ce and Techn o lo gy (En gin eerin g)

Arch itectu ral a nd Mech an ic al Drawing

Biome dica l Engineering

An alog Compu ters a nd Digita l Computers

Sou nd, Ligh t, Atomic Physics

De sign of Stee l Structures


Electricit y an d M agnetism

Civ il a nd Structura l Engineering

Ship Drafting

Tan ning an d Le ath er Chemistr y

M ech anical Ar ts

G asolin e En gine Operation

Applie d Electricit y

M a chine Design

Steam a nd the Steam Engine

Applie d Mechanics

Geometr y

Carpentr y

4 -D Design

Gra ph ics Pro gramming

Typog raphic Design

Visu al Communications


Philos ophy of Ar t

Philos ophy of M odern Design

Form in Space


A r e t r o s p e c t i v e s u r v e y o f P r at t I n s t i t u t e ' s RE M AR K A B LE r i s e


Th e a r t, a r ch i t e c t u r e , a n d d e s i g n t h at ch a n g e d t h e w o r l d

alumni views

w o r ks b y s i x a cc l a i m e d a l u m n i i n s p i r e d b y t h e i r y e a r s at P r at t

1 976 : Scho ol of Li b er a l Arts a nd S c i e n c e


“ I wish to found a school that shall help all classes of workers , artists , artisans , apprentices , and homemakers .”

— C harles P ratt, founder , 1 8 8 7


125 anniversary pr attfolio

Among the Institute’s earliest classes were (clockwise from top right) millinery, sculpture, architectural drawing, and steam machinery.

the founding years I n 1 8 8 7, I n d u s t r i a l i s t C h a r l e s P r att ’ s e xp e r i m e n ta l a n d u n t e s t e d i d e a s a b o u t e d u c at i o n l a i d t h e f o u n d at i o n f o r P r att I n s t i t u t e ’ s h i s t o r i c r i s e .


arly in the 1880s, Charles Pratt, then a partner in the Rockefeller Standard Oil Company and generous benefactor of Brooklyn, turned his efforts and financial resources toward building an institution of higher learning. A progressive thinker deeply influenced by the educational reform movements of the late 19th century, Pratt wanted the institution to be open to all—regardless of class, color, or place of birth. Pratt also intended his institution to fulfill what he saw as an ethical obligation to encourage a love of work, strength of character, and clear sense of purpose within a community. Toward that end, Pratt crafted a set of pedagogic principles based on his interest in art and design that had few precedents in educational systems in the United States or abroad in the late 19th century. The venture, which the industrialist named Pratt Institute, was inspired by Pratt’s tenacious climb to success and his philanthropic interest in improving opportunities for the American worker. Born in 1830 in the factory town of Watertown, Massachusetts, Pratt rose from his early training as a machinist to ownership of one of the country’s largest oil refineries. Since his early youth, Pratt had endeavored to improve himself, first saving his salary to pay for a year’s schooling at an academy near Boston and then through a membership to a local private library. When he arrived in New York City in 1851, he became a clerk at an oil, paint, and glass shop on Fulton Street. From there, his ascent was swift. In 1867, he established the Pratt Manu-

1830 Charles Pratt is born in Watertown, Massachusetts. 1861 The American Civil War begins. 1867 Charles Pratt establishes the Pratt Manufacturing Company, producers of Astral Oil. 1879 Thomas Edison invents the lightbulb. 1882 The merger of Pratt Manufacturing Company and John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil is announced. 1883 The Brooklyn Bridge is completed. 1887 Pratt Institute opens. 1889 Vincent van Gogh paints The Starry Night.

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A portrait of Charles Pratt dated 1888 and the faculty (right) he recruited to teach the original Institute classes in diverse subjects such as color studies, dressmaking, architectural drawing, steam power, and typewriting. Pratt's faculty shared the founder's progressive values for achieving social reform through education.

“ T he I nstitute is no longer a faint conception or well- defined scheme , but is a substantial reality, a monument to the philanthropy and wisdom of its founder , an ornament to the city

facturing Company, producers of Astral Oil, in the nearby Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and settled with his second wife, Mary, and their eight children, in a large home on the corner of Willoughby and Clinton avenues. Colleagues and family described the industrialist as self-effacing and hardworking. Pratt’s own journal entries lament sacrificing time with his family to meet the demands of his company. A dedicated philanthropist, Pratt donated large sums of money to several institutions, including Adelphi Academy, the private school that educated his children, and Brooklyn’s Emmanuel Baptist Church, whose services he attended every Sunday. Once his eldest son graduated from Amherst College in 1879 and returned to New York to help run Pratt Manufacturing Company, Pratt was free to dedicate his efforts to the establishment of Pratt Institute, beginning with the 1884 purchases of large plots of land near his home in Clinton Hill. Soon after, construction began on the Main Building to house the various departments Pratt wanted to be a part of the Institute. Students would be trained to create American goods equal


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in expertise and artistry to European products. Pratt was particularly interested in women’s education and crafted a department for dressmaking and millinery, as well as home economics and hygiene. Shortly thereafter, he also built a science hall with a forge and a machinists’ shop to educate mechanics, engineers, and tradesmen on the latest advances in steam and electric power. By simply unifying these disparate subjects of learning on one campus, Pratt had already gone beyond the conformities of American trade schools and fine art academies. In defining the pedagogic construct of a Pratt education, the founder went even further beyond the conventions of higher education when he declared, “Mind and eye and hand must together be trained.” Like the social reformers Felix Adler, Jane Addams, and Calvin M. Woodward, who were all part of the industrialist’s intellectual circle, Pratt believed that teaching technical skills—drawing, building, designing—promoted intellectual thought and creativity. And in a reciprocal manner, exposure to the ideals and aesthetics of fine art—as Pratt himself observed during his frequent

the founding years

Charles Pratt wanted to make art education and art instruction available to both sexes and all classes of workers. However, the era’s strict morality codes required that courses in figure studies, whether using plaster casts or live models, remain segregated.

in which it is located , and a credit to the country at large . I t is undoubtedly the most important enterprise of its kind in this country, if not in the world .” — S cientific A merican , 1 8 8 8

visits to Europe’s royal academies and factories—inspired more sophisticated and beautiful design. This idea was controversial in an age in which most believed working with one’s hands was merely mechanical labor. But he was prescient in understanding the nation’s need for creative and ambitious minds in the arts and sciences. Shortly before Pratt Institute first opened its doors in 1887, Pratt employed the school’s first instructor, Walter S. Perry, to act as chair of the Department of Drawing. Pratt’s decision to first organize an art department reflected his conviction that drawing is a universal language that unifies the various disciplines. “Drawing . . . must enter into almost every course of study,” Pratt explained to Perry, who immediately occupied the fourth floor of the newly built Main Building to avail Pratt students of the best possible light. Perry’s curricula ranged from freehand to mechanical and architectural drawing. The Institute’s first catalog, published in 1887, declared that “drawing is fundamental; it is the basis of all the constructive industries, all pictorial art, and decorative design.” Aspiring artists, art teachers, engi-

neers, architects, illustrators, furniture makers, and fashion designers all spent time in the studios. The result was an intermingling of the sciences, applied arts, and fine arts that anticipated the focus on interdisciplinary learning that remains critical to a Pratt education. Only 12 students appeared on the steps of Pratt Institute for its first day of classes on October 17, 1887. But Pratt was not discouraged. That spring, the course catalog included academic classes in subjects such as history, mathematics, physics, and literature. Frequent lectures, exhibitions, and field trips were arranged to expose students and faculty to new ideas about art, design, and technology. Pratt moved forward with his plans to integrate Pratt Institute within the larger community by opening a free circulating library, a museum, and a “thrift” savings bank (now Thrift Hall). More than 1,000 students were enrolled and present on campus to hear Pratt’s inaugural Founder’s Day speech on October 2, 1888, the date of his birth. Pratt told his audience, “You will be our witness, our advertisement. You will tell the world that Pratt Institute is a good place to go if we have done our whole duty by you.”

125 anniversary pr attfolio


The Pratt Institute Architecture Men’s Basketball team in 1910. Team sports played a significant role in the Institute’s early years, when players formed teams representing their chosen discipline, rather than the Institute as a whole.

In 1896, the Pratt Library created the first reading room in New York City devoted to children and published their younger visitors’ comments on their favorite books in a list of recommended children’s literature.

The turn of Fa m i ly a n d fa c u lt y o v e r c o m e t h e u n t i m e ly d e at h o f t h e I n s t i t u t e ’ s l e a d e r a n d p r e pa r e P r att t o m e e t t h e c h a ll e n g e s o f t h e 2 0 t h c e n t u r y.


he unexpected loss of Charles Pratt on May 4, 1891, while saddening, did not derail the Institute’s tremendous momentum. Pratt’s sons Charles Millard Pratt and Frederic B. Pratt ascended to leadership positions, providing the management and financial means to expand the campus. Under their direction, Pratt Institute continued to attract national and international attention. Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie paid a fact-finding visit to Pratt before opening the Carnegie Technical Schools, later known as Carnegie Mellon University, and major articles in Harper’s Weekly, Scientific American, The Century Magazine, and The New York Times reported Pratt’s early successes. Demand was strong for the skills of students from Pratt’s latest addition, the School of Science and Technology, which occupied three buildings on campus: Trades, Mechanical Arts, and Chemistry, the latter of which was erected in 1905. The faculty astutely recognized that new developments in manufacturing and energy production required workers to design and operate sophisticated equipment. They crafted


125 anniversary pr attfolio

a curriculum that combined practical skills with theoretical learning to ensure that Pratt students filled industry’s intellectual capital needs and motivated major companies, such as New York Telephone, Edison Electric, and Brooklyn Rapid Transit, to regularly recruit graduates. The country was also impressed with Pratt’s female students, who were on the vanguard of women’s employment trends at the turn of the century. Pratt offered no fewer than 25 different courses of study for women, 16 of which led to self-supporting careers. Whether learning alongside their male classmates or enrolled in the school’s Domestic Science division, created specifically for the female student, Pratt women were trained to break through professional barriers and assume leadership roles in the emerging fields of library science, hospital care, and commercial fashion. Interest in Pratt women’s accomplishments was so great that female graduates were invited to showcase their work in the Woman’s Building at the 1893 Chicago Columbian World Exposition, one of the fair’s most popular sites. Draperies, wallpapers, and silver designed by Pratt women and pro-

The Pratt Institute Library, built in 1896, and Library Park were open to the public as well as to Pratt students and faculty. In 1912, the Children’s Portico was added to the rear entrance (today's front).

“The young women of the wood-working class . . . are proving conclusively that the feminine mind is fully equal to the direction of the masculine saw and plane,” asserted an 1893 issue of The Pratt Institute Monthly.

the century 1890 Jacob A. Riis publishes his exposé on New York City slums, How the Other Half Lives. / 1 8 9 1 Charles Pratt dies, leaving an endowment of $4 million to Pratt Institute./ 1895 Writer Oscar Wilde is prosecuted for “gross indecency” and sentenced to two years of hard labor. / 1 8 9 6 The Pratt Library building opens as Brooklyn’s first free circulating library for the public. / 1 8 9 8 Brooklyn becomes one of New York City’s five boroughs. / 1 9 0 0 Pratt art department chair Walter S. Perry establishes the first art metal program for the study and practice of gold and silver design. / 1 9 0 1 U.S. President William McKinley is assassinated and Theodore Roosevelt assumes presidency./ 1904 Pratt Institute bans fraternities and sororities on campus saying their exclusivity is detrimental to the social life of the school. / 1 9 0 5 Albert Einstein publishes his theory of relativity. / 1 9 0 8 Edward Steichen’s photographs and paintings are the subject of a Pratt gallery exhibition.

p r at t P i o n e e r Arthur Wesley Dow in his studio, ca. 1900/unidentified photographer. Arthur Wesley Dow papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

duced by leading manufacturers stood on display with works of art. The Library School also showcased card catalogs, book labels, and lending records. The success of the exhibition demonstrated that women were taking their place as equals in the world at large. It was also at this time that the art department renamed itself the Department of Industrial and Fine Arts, a decision that reflected both a practical acknowledgement of the close ties of art and design and a commitment to the idealism that pervaded the art world in the new century. Pratt art instructors imparted to their students a belief in their own creative power and adopted innovative teaching methods meant to foster individual expression. When Arthur Wesley Dow, a leader of the American Arts and Crafts movement, joined the faculty, he captured the prevailing spirit of the Institute, writing: “Whether they paint pictures, design wallpaper, or hammer iron, their sense of beauty can be so quickened that they will of necessity make their work art. This bringing art into life is one of the greatest aims of Pratt Institute.”

A rthur W esley D ow Based on his study of Japanese art, Arthur Wesley Dow developed studio practices that were meant to evoke individual expression, experimental work, and “beauty in all forms.” The students who thrived in his classroom, such as Max Weber and Gertrude Käsebier, helped build Pratt’s reputation for nurturing artistic talent.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


Al ice Bou ght on fine arts I al u mna Dawn, 1909, photogravure Boughton produced her allegorical image of a female nude using one of photography’s earliest methods of printmaking, photogravure. The print was published in the 1909 issue of Camera Work, Alfred Stieglitz’s influential quarterly journal dedicated to establishing photography as a fine art. Boughton’s photogravure images were highly regarded for their painterly qualities

Ralph Selitzer Photography

Courtesy of The Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

and artistic ambitions.

Fay Kel l ogg architect u ral drawin G I al u mna

G e r t r u d e K äsebier painting I al u mna Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz, 1902, platinum print Art historian Barbara L. Michaels called Käsebier “the most eminent woman

New York City Hall of Records (now known as Surrogate’s Courthouse), New York City, 1901 Kellogg was the first of Pratt’s female students to become a practicing architect. While employed by John R. Thomas, she helped create the architectural plans for the Hall of

photographer in the United States, if not the world,” prior to World War I. Käsebier’s

Records, now a landmarked New York City building. The

close-cropped portrait of Stieglitz, a fellow photography pioneer, features her innovative

New York Times called Kellogg “. . . the foremost woman

approach of altering or even rephotographing the image to achieve painterly effects.


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architect in the United States.”

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

Arthur We s l e y D o w fine arT S I faculty The Long Road—Argilla Road, Ipswich, circa 1898, colored inks on laid paper An early proponent of synthesizing the practices of Western and Eastern art, Dow transformed landscape painting into an exploration of the Japanese aesthetics of line, color, and notan (harmony), but his primary goal was the development of American art. In 1891, Dow wrote, “The day is dawning when America will have an art of her own, founded upon her own

Charl es Cou r t ney Cu rran fine arts I facu lty On the Heights, 1909, oil on canvas A Parisian-trained artist who later became a practitioner of American Impressionism, Curran taught his students to draw the body from life instead of copying plaster casts. An early member of the National Academy of Design, Curran was known for his paintings of the female figure placed against an open expanse of blue sky and white cumulus clouds.

Pam ela Col man S mi th fine arts I al umna The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, 1909 Smith created 78 original illustrations Courtesy of H. Voley

Arthur Wesley Dow The Long Road—Argilla Road, Ipswich, ca. 1898, colored inks on laid paper, sheet, 5 3/8 x 8 1/2 in. (13.7 x 21.6 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Alfred T. White Fund, 1999.115 Charles Courtney Curran On the Heights, 1909, oil on canvas, 30 1/16 x 30 1/16 in. (76.4 x 76.4 cm), Brooklyn Museum, Gift of George D. Pratt, 24.110

history and character.”

for the first printed English-language tarot card deck intended for mass circulation. Smith’s designs radically transformed the fortune-telling traditions of tarot and are widely recognized as the basis of the modern tarot deck.

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The teens A s t h e e r a o f p r o g r e s s i v i s m y i e l d s t o t h e a g e o f m o d e r n i t y, P r att I n s t i t u t e b e g i n s t o m o v e b e y o n d i t s o r i g i n a l m a n d at e s .


ratt Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary in 1912. Having educated over 80,000 students, Pratt’s emphasis on technical instruction and intensive learning,as well as its eclectic course offerings, became a template for vocational schools across the nation. However, with Europe engulfed in revolution and the arts and sciences grappling with new ways of understanding the world, Pratt men and women were called upon to cope with crisis, nurture creative awakenings, and spearhead innovation. In the process, the Institute found a new sense of purpose. Once the United States entered World War I, the Institute partnered with the government to aid in the war effort. True to its growing reputation for versatility, the School of Science and Technology organized a Students’ Army Training Corps, offering engineering courses to bring enlistees’ skills up to speed for the war effort. After the war ended, the burgeoning aviation industry turned to Pratt engineers to move aircraft technology forward. Engineering alumnus Donald Hall partnered with aviator Charles Lindbergh to design the Spirit of St. Louis. Shortly afterward, Pratt began offering courses in airplane construction and design.

Main Building, sitting on what was once Ryerson Street, now Ryerson Walk. 1 2 5 was a nonce n i van er s a thoroughfare r y p r a t used t f obyl cars i o and local Ryerson Street urban residents in the heart of the densely populated Clinton Hill neighborhood.


As part of the Institute’s efforts to elevate the quality of American design, in 1928 Pratt organized an intensive training course that brought together instructors from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, fashion retailers, Pratt fine-art teachers, and others to teach the application of art principles to fashion merchandising. But other Pratt art students and alumni, such as Katherine Dreier, who exhibited at the legendary Armory Show of 1913, were drawn to the avant-garde. In 1920, Dreier, along with Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, founded the Société Anonyme, Inc., the first modern art collection in the U.S. The Roaring Twenties spun the nation into a dizzying era of prosperity. Jazz and ragtime filled dance and concert halls and American youth asserted itself as its own generation. Though Pratt was not yet a degree-granting college, its students joined in the good times by organizing dances in the gym, athletic games, a yearbook, and social clubs for everything from sports and entertainment to afternoon teas. Alumni groups returned to campus for reunions and students found the Pratt experience as rich and exciting as any four-year college. The growth of the Institute—in population and prestige—fulfilled Charles Pratt’s original vision and opened doors for new avenues of learning.

Hundreds of Pratt alumni from as early as 1904 took part in reunion festivities such as this procession on May 22, 1926 down Ryerson Street in celebration of Alumni Day, which typically took place the day before Commencement.

and twenties 1910 Pratt departments are organized into schools. / 1 9 1 1 The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City results in the deaths of 146 garment workers. / 1912 The New York Times runs a feature story celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Institute. / 1 9 1 3 The Armory Show opens, giving Americans their first look at Cubism, Fauvism, Futurism, and Dada. / 1914 –19 1 8 World War I / 1 9 2 3 Frederic B. Pratt becomes president of the board of trustees and assumes leadership of the Institute. / 1 9 2 9 The U.S. Stock Market crashes.

p r at t p i o n e e r

A nne C arroll M oore An 1896 graduate of the Library School, Anne Carroll Moore was offered the position of children’s librarian at Pratt Library for the newly created children’s reading room. Moore was given the freedom to design original programming for the library, including storytelling and poetry readings, and introduced borrowing privileges for its young visitors. Eventually, Moore became head children’s librarian for the New York Public Library. In 1955, she received her honorary Doctor of Letters from Pratt.

Navy enrollees in Pratt’s Science and Technology program. The U.S. Navy turned to Pratt-trained electricians for help in operating its submarines and warships.

A Pratt men’s basketball game was held in celebration of the opening of the new gymnasium. Athletics became increasingly popular on campus, with men’s and women’s teams ranging from gymnastics and swimming to baseball and tennis.

Romantic yet modern, this softly ruffled party dress with its relaxed waistline freed the 1 2 5 a of nn i v corsetry. e r s a rDesigned y p r abyt atstudent f o l i in o 1923, the dress wearer from the restrictions tight was shown in Pratt’s first Budget Fashion Show at Wanamaker’s in 1924.



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


Do n a ld A. Hal l mechanical engineering I al umnus Spirit of St. Louis, 1927 Aviator Charles Lindbergh recruited Hall to design an airplane that could fly across the Atlantic. The two men created the aircraft in 60

M arie Zimmermann Art M etal I al u mna Black Opal Brooch, 1928 A student of Pratt Institute’s groundbreaking art metal design program, Zimmermann’s polychromatic setting showcases the beauty of the gemstone and the artist’s mastery of dramatic color in jewelry design. Joseph Cunningham, author of a monograph of Zimmermann’s oeuvre, says the “work stands out . . . as a restrained symmetrical presentation of opulence and high style.”

M ot t B. Schmidt architect u re I al u mn u s Sutton Place, New York City, 1920 A protégé of legendary interior designer Elsie de Wolfe, Schmidt transformed a former bohemian enclave at the edge of the East River into a set of luxury townhouses for New York high society. Sutton Place launched Schmidt’s career as neoclassical architect for New York’s wealthiest families, including the Rockefellers.

Ja n e P e te r s o n fine arts I alu mna Turkish Fountain with Garden, 1910, oil and charcoal on canvas Peterson traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and Europe for her subject matter and was the subject of a major solo exhibition in 1910 at The Art Institute of Chicago. In 1925, The New York Times described Peterson as one of “the foremost women painters in New York.”


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To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

Jane Peterson, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Caryl and Martin Horwitz, 1991 (1991.426.1), Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Image source: Art Resource, N.Y. Marie Zimmermann The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Jacqueline Loewe Fowler, 2011(2011.10.2) Mott B. Schmidt Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library

Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images

days and Lindbergh’s historic flight took place on May 20, 1927.

© Kevin Fleming/CORBIS

Wal l ace Ray fi el d architect u re I al u mn u s The 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama, 1911 The building, a national historic landmark, was among the most significant commissions for Rayfield, a prominent designer of African American churches and the second practicing African American architect in the United States. In 1963, the church was the target of a Ku Klux Klan bombing that killed four children. The tragedy drew national attention to the South’s violent struggle for civil rights.

M a x W eber fine arts I alu mn u s Avoirdupois, 1915, oil on canvas The fractured contours and stenciled lettering of Weber’s still life show the influence of European modernism on Weber, who was among the first American artists to explore Cubism. In 1930, he was the first American artist to be honored with

Leon Vol kmar fine arts I facu lty Vase, 1923, turquoise glazed ceramic Master ceramist Volkmar re-created ancient glazes of the Near and Far East at his facility, Durant Kilns, in Bedford, New York, to apply arresting color to his wheel-thrown earthenware vases. A dedicated member of the American Arts and Crafts movement, Volkmar

Bi ll Ga r i t y engineering I alumnus Steamboat Willie, 1928, sound engineering Walt Disney recruited Garity to design the technology that enabled the legendary animator to create the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with synchronized sound, a landmark in the history of animation.

Collection of the Greenwich Historical Society, gift of John and Henrietta Volkmar, C1971.03.05. Photographer: Paul Mutino

elevated pottery making to the realm of fine art.

© Disney

Max Weber, Avoirdupois, 1915. Oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (53.4 x 46.3 cm), The Baltimore Museum of Art, Purchased with exchange funds from Bequest of Mabel Garrison Siemonn, in Memory of her Husband, George Siemonn, BMA 1970.31, Photography by: Mitro Hood

a solo retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art.

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A model in a bias-cut gown poses for a Pratt fashion illustration class. In the 1930s, women from Pratt’s fashion program were achieving the highest levels in their field. 1 2and 5 a n nMaxwell’s iversa r y p r adesigns t t f owere l i othe first significant American contribution to women’s fashion design. Alumna Cipe Pineles, after being Alumnae Clare Potter Vera sportswear mentored by Condé Nast legend M. F. Agha, was named art director of Glamour, becoming the first woman to art direct a mass-market magazine.


The thirties P r att p r e va i l s d e s p i t e e c o n o m i c

1930 Mahatma Gandhi walks 200 miles to make salt from the Dandi Sea as protest against the British monopoly on salt production.

s ta g n at i o n a n d e s ta bl i s h e s i t s r e p u tat i o n a s a c u lt u r a l f o r c e i n d e s i g n .


uring the 1930s, the world struggled through a crippling depression and witnessed the rise of Fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism. Fearing these repressive regimes, artists and intellectuals fled Europe in droves. Many of Pratt’s legendary faculty, such as printmaker Fritz Eichenberg, graphic designer Will Burtin, and ceramicist Eva Zeisel, were among these early émigrés. However, it was not just the influx of European talent that transformed the Pratt educational experience. The thirties also proved to be a seminal decade for Pratt’s design programs. The devastating slide into financial crisis rattled the nation’s confidence and drove down consumer spending. Inventive and appealing design in all areas, from the chicest apparel to the handiest appliances, became the antidote to declining sales. To lure reluctant consumers back into the stores, the Art School created a new program dedicated to advertising design. Pratt already sent a steady stream of illustrators to work for book publishers and major magazines. The advertising design department, led by William Longyear, an expert on modern typography, concentrated on helping manufacturers differentiate their products and promote themselves as major brands. Pratt’s graphic design efforts were propelled forward by the arrival of Will Burtin. A pioneering graphic designer, Burtin and his Jewish wife, Hilde, barely escaped their native Germany after evading repeated demands—including a personal appeal from Hitler—to work for Joseph Goebbels’s propaganda ministry. Shortly after arriving in the United States, Burtin joined Pratt’s art department and began teaching his revolutionary ideas for total communication design, a concept that later became known as corporate branding. Another émigré, Alexander Kostellow, came to Pratt from Berlin—but with a critical stop in Pittsburgh before arriving in Brooklyn. A painter and art educator, Kostellow and his wife,

1931 Pratt holds its first Senior Dance at The Roosevelt Hotel. 1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt ushers in The New Deal. 1935 The first canned beer is sold in Richmond, Virginia, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio. 1936 The Library School becomes the first division to grant a bachelor of science degree to graduates. 1937 The Golden Gate Bridge opens in San Francisco. 1937 Frederic B. Pratt retires. Charles M. Pratt, son of the founder, becomes the first president of the Institute. 1938 The Art School holds its 51st annual exhibit at the newly opened Rockefeller Center. 1939 U.S. maintains neutrality as World War II begins.

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Students work with machinery in one of Pratt’s first industrial design workshops, which taught the potential for mass production.

Female students relax in the Women’s Club, which was situated on Willoughby Avenue and was the hub for social activities. Men at Pratt had their own club as well.

Students sketching around an Italian marble wellhead purchased by the Pratt family in 1900 and converted into a fountain for the campus.

“. . . T he art school’ s objective I S a continuously changing program synchroni z ed with the best contemporary professional practice . . .” — J ames C . B oudreau , dean , A rt S chool

the sculptor Rowena Reed, along with Donald Dohner, an “art engineer” for Westinghouse, came to Pratt from the Carnegie Institute of Technology with the goal of developing a curriculum that would advance the applied arts beyond its traditional decorative imperatives. It proved a brilliant collaboration, with Dohner providing the practical know-how and Kostellow and Reed supplying the theoretical and aesthetic principles that together engendered the rise of American industrial design. Almost immediately after joining the Pratt faculty, Kostellow created a “foundation year” for all incoming students, which became one of the essential pillars of a Pratt education. He drew from his early immersion in European modernism to create his curriculum, emphasizing systematic investigation, teamwork, and problem solving. But he tempered the strict dictates of movements such as the Bauhaus with his knowledge of and enthusiasm for American culture and a conviction that individual aesthetic expression was critical to a designer’s success. Initiatives like these helped Pratt overcome the challenges of the financial crisis and produce imaginative and employable graduates. In 1936, Dean James C. Boudreau told The New York Times that 95 percent of Pratt’s Art School graduates were gainfully employed, with its architecture department alumni earning the highest wages.


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Many Pratt artists found patronage through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project. Painter George McNeil, a Pratt alumnus who would later teach at the Institute for 40 years, and Fritz Eichenberg, who eventually chaired Pratt’s graphic arts program, were among the numerous Pratt artists hired by the WPA to paint murals, design posters, and provide illustrations for government manuals. McNeil worked productively as an artist on a day-to-day basis for five years, a formative experience that shaped his understanding of himself as a working artist. However, even as the effects of the Depression receded, the Institute still faced a final hurdle: the growing professionalization of the American workforce. Initially, there was concern that the requirements of a bachelor's degree would undercut the founder’s aim to provide an inexpensive education to those could not afford a college degree. The Institute also did not want students who needed to return to the workforce to have to study for four years to obtain their training. But government regulations were tightening, and art teachers, engineers, dieticians, and architects needed the extra years of education to obtain professional licenses. As various departments adapted their curricula to meet state requirements for granting bachelor’s degrees, the Institute moved forward as a college.

1930 s at Pratt

The success of Pratt’s food-science program helped commercialize the culinary arts, enabling graduates to specialize in dietetics, publish cookbooks, and manage institutional kitchens.

The Chemistry, Engineering, and Machinery buildings formed a distinctive academic quad that, by the 1930s, featured landscaped grounds where tennis courts once stood. The tracks of the “El” train are in the foreground.

“ I f a young man or woman has brains , backbone , and ambition , and is ready for hard work , P ratt I nstitute will do the rest.” — T he N ew Y ork T imes , M ay 1 6 , 1 9 3 7

p r at t p i o n e e r s

A le x ander K ostellow and R owena R eed Alexander Kostellow is known as “the father” of industrial design education, a discipline he nurtured at Pratt Institute as the department's first chair. He was described by a student as “short of stature with a high-pitched voice and distinctive foreign accent.” Kostellow kept three watches, two on his wrists and one in his pocket, “but he was never on time,” recalled a colleague. Born in Persia (now Iran), Kostellow arrived at Pratt in 1933. At that time, there was no program for designing cars, so he created one, much to the benefit of the auto industry. He also set up Pratt’s Industrial Design Laboratory, which attracted numerous corporate scholarships and research grants. A spellbinding lecturer, Kostellow and his wife and partner in design, Rowena Reed, strove to equip students with problem-solving skills that would serve them in any design project. Kostellow’s sudden death at the age of 50 in 1954 left a void, but Rowena’s career would span half a century and continue their legacy. Rowena Reed served as chair of industrial design from 1962–1964 and taught until 1987. She passed away a year later at the age of 88, outliving Kostellow by 38 years. Her “preoccupation with plastic form”—as design historian Arthur Pulos put it—inspired her passion for three-dimensional design, which she passed on to her students. Former student John Pai, who

later joined the Pratt faculty, noted her “missionary spirit,” which won many converts and was founded on the belief that society could be transformed by design. Students lived by her dictum: “Never let function be an excuse for a bad design.” They revered her teachings: to focus on process over product; to go beyond the form as determined by the function; and to find beautiful solutions to design problems intuitively. She gave them rules they could work by and the confidence to trust the aesthetic awareness of form and space that she had awakened in them. To her students, Rowena became a figure of mythological proportions. Her brief lectures were followed by grueling critiques. She developed lasting friendships with her students, mentored many, and became their model for a way of life and a mode of thinking. Through her, they understood that design was a personal search and that beauty was its ultimate goal. Rowena’s disciples launched a new era of cutting-edge American design. The long list of successful former students includes prominent designers Ralph Appelbaum, Gina Caspi, Lucia DeRespinis, Donald Genaro, Gerald Gulotta, Bruce Hannah, Kate Hixon, Ted Muehling, Louis Nelson, George Schmidt, and Tucker Viemeister. Several also became Pratt faculty, sharing Rowena’s teachings with new generations of industrial designers.

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iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


Ll oy d M organ Architectu re I Alu mn u s The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 1929–31 Morgan gained fluency in the “art modern” style while working in Paris. As part of the architectural firm of Schultze & Weaver, he designed several of the world’s luxury hotels in the 1920s, including the Waldorf-Astoria, the largest, © Time Inc.

tallest, and most opulent hotel of its time. It remains one of New York’s most popular “grand hotels.”

Howard K. Richmond Ill u stration I al u mn u s Life Magazine, 1936, logo Richmond was given just a few days to design what became “one of the most emblematic magazine covers in Courtesy of The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, N.Y.

the world,” according to graphic-design historian Steven Heller. His distinctive san serif logo became the magazine’s

H e n ry H o h a u s e r Architect ure I al umnus The Essex House Hotel, 1939 Just two stories high and with only 31 rooms, this small hotel in the South Beach Art Deco district of Miami, where Hohauser moved in 1932, evokes a maritime theme appropriate to the area. Hohauser became a major architect in the Art Deco style in the beach district during the 1930s.

Cosmo Condina/The Image Bank/Getty Images

most readily recognized design element.

fine arts I al umna The Quacker Clock, circa 1935 This electric alarm clock for Telechron shows the use of bright color in the

S c u lpt u re I al u mnu s

attractive, inexpensive, and durable

The Heisman Memorial Trophy, 1935, bronze

new medium of plastic, ideally suited to mass production. Kogan, one of the first

Courtesy of Jim Linz


F rank Elis cu Eliscu was only 23 when he designed what would become his best-known work. The trophy, which is awarded yearly to the most outstanding college football player,

American female industrial designers, was

condenses the player’s movements—side step, forward drive, and strong arm

an early pioneer in the use of plastics, and

thrust—into one dynamic motion. Eliscu went on to win a National Academy Prize

her clocks are collector’s items today.

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and the Herbert Adams Memorial Gold Medal for service to American sculpture.

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

B e l l e K ogan

Tim Graham/The Image Bank/Getty Images

R u t h Reeves fine arts I al u mna Manhattan, 1930, furnishing fabric of block-printed cotton, made by W. & J. Sloane, New York Symbols of modern New York—the skyscrapers, ships, airplanes, bridges, and roadways of Manhattan—collide in a Cubist collage on a printed textile, bringing principles of high art into fabric design. Reeves, an artist who advanced the classic style of American Moderne, learned the principles of Cubism from Fernand Léger, with whom she studied in Paris after attending Pratt.

Image © Victoria and Albert Museum, London

W il l iam Van Al en Architectu re I al u mn u s The Chrysler Building, 1930 “There, in one building, is all of New York’s height and fantasy in a single gesture,” wrote New York Times architectural critic Paul Goldberger. With its shining curvilinear surfaces, zigzag ornamentation, and tapering spire, the Chrysler Building is an unmistakable New York landmark. Goldberger featured America’s most prominent example of Art Deco architecture and corporate power on the cover of his latest book, Why Architecture Matters.

M y ron Wal dma n fine arts I al u mn u s Betty Boop, 1930, cartoon character As head animator of New York’s Fleischer Studios, Waldman helped create Betty Boop, who brought joy and laughter to audiences worldwide during the Great Depression. According to The Huffington Post, “Cartoon coquette Betty Boop is an indelible part of American animation history, as well as its first sex symbol.” Waldman later received the Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists Award and the Winsor McCay Award for his lifetime work in the field of animation.

Courtesy of The Early Television Museum

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

D avid Sarnoff Engineering I al u mn u s RCA Television, 1939 First introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair, this RCA model was the first electronic television sold to the public. As president of RCA at that time, Sarnoff was one of the earliest investors in the development of television.

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A raucous parade down Ryerson Avenue with student-decorated floats to kick off the start of an “all-Institute” field day in the spring of 1940.

Pratt’s booth at the Careers for Youth Forum held in November 1948 highlighted the new degree and certificate programs in fields ranging from art education to interior design.

The forties


1 2Main 5 aBuilding n n i vshows e r s the a rarea y pthat r aistnow t f the o lrear i o of the Library, where hundreds gathered for the Pratt Commencement ceremony in May 1945. The temporary barracks (in This picture taken from the photo’s top right) erected on the Library grounds provided much-needed residences for the influx of incoming students, many of whom were veterans who also needed to house their families.

With military recruitment causing severe labor shortages in American factories, Pratt recruited young women to enroll in its technical courses, such as welding, to fulfill jobs in the defense industries.

Architecture alumnus and Prix de Rome winner Erling Iverson studied the construction of bomb shelters in Europe. In 1941, Iverson joined Pratt’s faculty to teach architects and engineers his innovative approach to shelter construction and safety.

P r att c o mm i t s to a n All i e d v i cto ry a n d c o n t r i b u t e s to a m e r i c a ' s p o s t-wa r p r o s p e r i t y.


hile news of Europe’s futile resistance to Hitler’s army descended on the American public, Pratt entered the forties with the realization that war—however much unwanted—was looming on the horizon. True to its reputation for resourcefulness and versatility, the Institute quickly adapted its curriculum to support the government’s defense mobilization efforts. Pratt’s engineering classes once again became a training ground for servicemen, many of whom came to learn how to build and maintain much-needed fleets of aircraft. The threat of devastation from aerial bombing attacks was also a paramount concern as the nation readied its defenses. To help, the military sought out the best creative minds to aid in the development of industrial camouflage, a relatively new, but essential military tactic for disguising buildings, weaponry, and soldiers. In response to the government’s needs, the leaders of the Art School organized an experimental laboratory dedicated to camouflage research and development. Dean James C. Boudreau asked Konrad F. Wittmann, one of the only architects in the country with direct experience in industrial camouflage, and Army Captain Peter Rodyenko, an expert camoufleur, to join Pratt’s faculty. Their lectures and laboratory work were so popular that more than 450 art and architecture students signed up on the first day of classes. Boudreau also arranged for students to test their designs on the Pratt family estate in Glen Cove, Long Island. A licensed pilot, Boudreau took aerial photographs that were used to develop students’ skills in intelligence gathering. Some

1940 Availability of Kodachrome film allows the art department to show color slides of paintings during art history lectures. 1941 Japan attacks Pearl Harbor. 1943 Pratt’s engineering classes open enrollment to women to address labor shortages during wartime. 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies; Harry S Truman assumes presidency; Germany surrenders. 1946 Pratt's School of Engineering creates an Honor Society for exemplary students. 1947 Pratt begins offering bachelor's degrees in architecture and art education. 1948 Jackson Pollock is the subject of a Life magazine profile. 1949 Pratt unifies its teachings in the humanities and social sciences in a new department of general studies.

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Members of the Class of 1947 pose for a group portrait in the Caroline Ladd Pratt House on the night of the Senior Formal. The event was one of many parties and social activities on campus that added to the collegiate spirit.

Pratt asked the renowned designer Eva Zeisel to teach its first class in ceramic design for mass production. Zeisel arranged for students’ work to be manufactured, giving them broad exposure to all phases of the process.

“ I remember the engineering students standing in the windows trying to catch a glimpse of the nude models in the art school across the way.” — M artin R atick , mechanical engineering ’4 1 of these students, including painter Ellsworth Kelly, were later absorbed into the military’s “Ghost Army,” a covert unit dedicated to impersonating U.S. military units to deceive the German Army. Pratt servicemen and -women kept in close contact with their school and the Institute’s daily newspaper The Prattler published many of their letters. “The dieticians at Pratt have it in their power to raise morale to unequalled heights” came a plea from a corps of engineers. “Send us their fudge, their cookies, their jellies—whatever they have that is intended for happier stomachs than ours. P.S. We are all hungry!” A bombardier wrote from the cockpit of an early morning mission over Japan: “The vast beauty of the Pacific brings to mind one of Kostellow’s lectures on color, for there is every hue and value imaginable . . .” Their letters underscored the continued sacrifice among Pratt’s student body to achieve an Allied victory. The reality of the war was further emphasized through the work of Pratt’s artist-correspondents: alumnus Kerr Eby’s charcoal sketches captured the immediacies of battle during the marines’ fight for Tarawa, and painting instructor Ogden Pleissner rendered the Battle of Normandy in oils, watercolors, and drawings for Life magazine. These men received national recognition for their war art, but were just two of the many Pratt artists who risked their lives to convey the hardships of war in stunning visual detail.


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Following Japan’s surrender in the fall of 1945, Pratt readied itself to face the challenges of a changed world. Hundreds of veterans returned to Pratt to finish their education, often with a family in tow, part of a nationwide spike in marriages and births that fueled consumer demands for new cars, appliances, and home goods. Pratt’s industrial design department forged partnerships with leading manufacturers—General Motors, Sears Roebuck, and others—to better American design. And Pratt’s interior design department extended the field beyond decorative concerns, encouraging collaborations between designers and architects and setting new professional standards. In recognition of the considerable advancements in Pratt’s science curriculum, the School of Science and Technology changed its name to the School of Engineering. Members of its faculty who served as military advisers returned to Pratt ready to capitalize on their knowledge of emerging areas of scientific research related the war effort. Two of Pratt’s science faculty—electrical engineer Donald Wright and physics instructor Donald Duncan—had been part of the famously secretive Manhattan Project. Eager to share the potentials of splitting the atom with their students, they returned to their classrooms predicting new breakthroughs in medicine and “clean” energy. For Pratt, a decade that began with turmoil ended with a vision of sustained peace and prosperity.

1940 s at Pratt

Prior to America’s entry into World War II, the government launched a nationwide effort to train 20,000 pilots for civil defense. Pratt men and women immediately enrolled in the Institute’s training course and Pratt became the first school to put its students in the air. Pratt also launched one of the country's earliest programs dedicated to the design of industrial camouflage.

“ D uring the war we remained dedicated to the task of the school itself : to e x perience the best art and design had to offer .” — J oseph M arshall Parriott, I ndustrial D esign ’4 3

p r at t p i o n e e r

GEORGE McNEIL Abstract Expressionist George McNeil, a self-described “Brooklyn street kid,” grew up riding the elevated train past the big sign for Pratt that heralded his future. McNeil’s frequent visits to the Art Reference Room of the Pratt Library during his formative years set him firmly on his path as an artist. McNeil enrolled in Pratt’s evening school as a teenager and won a scholarship to attend the Institute. There he entered the stream of Abstract Expressionism “through the back door of watercolor,” in an art course given by Anna Fisher that taught him to paint freely and express his emotions through art. In 1948, McNeil joined the Institute’s faculty to teach painting and direct the evening art school. He brought many modern painters to teach at Pratt— including Reuben Nakian, Franz Kline, and Philip Guston—and introduced a “History of Modern Art” course in the day school. He lived in Pratt housing on Willoughby Avenue, working for Pratt in the mornings and painting in his studio in the afternoons. McNeil retired as a full professor in 1975 but stayed on part-time until 1982. “I didn’t have any gallery success until 1981, so I lived off my teaching,” he said. A gifted teacher who was adored by his students, McNeil is now considered among the most influential New York School artists of his generation and is remembered for his humanitarian approach to art. Lynn Saville, photography, ’76, remembers the one mantra she heard George McNeil say again and again: “Never give in to failure of nerve.”

In 1948, Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, and Institute 1 2 5view an n i v eLyle r sSuter’s a r y vision p r aoftatDodgers-Yankees folio President Charles Pratt student World Series game, a dream that became a reality at the close of the decade.



™ & © Turner Entertainment Co.


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

Eva Zeisel Indu strial design I facu lty Museum Dinner Service, circa 1942–1945 Modern Art, shows the softly curvaceous forms for which Zeisel’s designs are known. The industrial designer was awarded the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Smithsonian CooperHewitt, National Design Museum in New York in 2005.

Bi ll G o l d Ill u stration I al umnus Casablanca, 1942, movie poster Known for capturing an entire film in a single defining image, Gold kept Bogart’s and Bergman’s characters separate to avoid giving away the romance. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Warner Bros. wanted more excitement, so [Gold] added the gun (which Rick used briefly at the end). Gold did all the lettering by hand using a flat-pencil technique.”

Jacob Lawrence Fine arts I fac u lty And the migrants kept coming, 1940–41, tempera on gesso on composition board Lawrence depicts the mass movement of Black Southerners to the North in this painting from his epic Migration Series, which is made up of 60 panels that were completed when the artist was 23 years old. The first work of art by an African-American to enter The Museum of Modern Art's collection, the series addresses some of the history and struggles of Black America.


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To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

Eva Zeisel © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Jacob Lawrence Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y., The Museum of Modern Art, New York., © 2012 The Jacob and Gwendolyn Lawrence Foundation, Seattle/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This porcelain dinnerware set, commissioned by The Museum of

Photo: Eirik Johnson, Courtesy of The Glass House

P hil ip Johnson Architectu re I facu lty © Disney

The Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut, 1949 Named a national historic landmark in 1997, The Glass House “is one of the most famous houses in the United States,” according to The New York Times architecture critic Nicolai

Bi ll Ga r i t y

Ouroussoff. Celebrated for its innovative use of materials and seamless integration in the landscape, The Glass House

Engineering I alumna

remained Johnson’s residence until his death in 2005.

Fantasia, 1940, sound engineering Garity was Disney’s chief sound engineer and won an Academy Award for the advancement of sound technology for his innovative stereo system Fantasound. Garity also invented a multiplane camera that was used to create depth in this 2-D animated film classic, which

Vera Maxwell Gjon Mili/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images; Joseph Barbera™ © Hanna-Barbera (s12), characters from TOM & JERRY used courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2000.

Joseph Bar ber a Fine arts I al u mnu s Tom and Jerry MGM cartoon shorts, 1940–1958 Barbera’s famed cat and mouse team made their debut in Puss Gets the Boot, a cartoon short that was nominated for an Academy Award in 1941. The MGM cartoon series, Tom and Jerry, went on to win seven Academy Awards.

Vera M axwel l Fashion I al u mn A Vera Maxwell Originals, circa 1940s A pioneer of women’s sportswear design, Maxwell was best known for her suits and topcoats. The designer was the subject of two museum retrospectives, the first in 1970 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the second in 1980 at the Museum of the City of New York.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


John F. Sierks Architectu re I al u mn u s Levittown, New York 1947–1951 Sierks was the chief architect for Levittown, America’s first suburb with mass-produced housing. Built to fulfill the widespread demand for inexpensive housing for America’s returning WWII veterans Levittown comprised 17,447 homes by 1951. Sierks went on to help design Levittown projects throughout the United States and Europe.

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Image source: Art Resource, N.Y.

Joseph Scherschel/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Edwi n D icki nson F ine arts I al u mn u s Ruin at Daphne, 1943–1953, oil on canvas Based on one of “the most complex perspectival schemes imaginable . . . [this] painting assumed an almost mythic status during [Dickinson’s] lifetime,” states Douglas Dreishpoon in his monograph Edwin Dickinson: Dreams and Realities. The American Modernist painter’s highly abstracted landscapes earned him significant critical attention in the 1940s.

R e ad V i e m e ist e r I nd ustrial design I al umnus

I nd ustrial design I al umnus The Tucker, 1948 The Tucker was a new car concept presented with avant-garde styling. The Tucker’s padded dashboard, pop-out windows, and innovative mechanical features reflected an awakened regard for passenger safety, but never entered full production due to investor Preston Thomas Tucker’s financial woes.


125 anniversary pr attfolio

Smithsonian Collection, Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

B u dd S t e i n h i l b e r

Smithsonian Collection, Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Courtesy of Fortune Magazine

Wi l l B ur t i n Comm u nications Design I Fac ulty Fortune, June 1946, cover A member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, Burtin is bestremembered for his theory of the total integration of text, art, graphics, and typography—what is now known as “corporate identity.” As art director of Fortune magazine in the 1940s, Burtin combined documentary photography, conceptual illustration, and typography to communicate to Fortune’s audience: the country’s new managerial class. This issue won the Art Directors Club Distinctive Merit award.

Cip e Pinel es F ine arts I al u mn A Seventeen, May 1941, cover After becoming the first female art director of a mass-market magazine, Pineles was hired to art direct Hearst’s recently launched Seventeen magazine, a sophisticated new publication for teenage girls. Credited with introducing the use of fine artists to illustrate mass-market publications, Pineles was made a medalist of the professional design organization AIGA in 1996. Hearst Communications, Inc.

Al fred M osher Bu t t s Architectu re I al u mn u s Scrabble, 1948 Butts designed one of the most popular board games in history during his years as a jobless architect during the Depression. Rejected by game publishers, Scrabble came into usage only after game-loving entrepreneur James Brunot worked with Butts to refine the rules and design. First sold at Macy’s in 1952, over 150 million sets have been purchased worldwide. Courtesy of Hasbro

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alumni view pete hamill I read in the Village Voice (then three years old and full of surprises) that Kerouac was due in town for a Friday-night jazz-poetry reading at the Village Vanguard. I paid the admission, went downstairs, ordered vodka at the bar, and for almost two hours listened to Kerouac, Gregory Corso, and some other poets. I was thrilled with the flow of words and the counterpoint of jazz, and gazed through the cigarette smoke at the remote women, who all seemed dressed in black, cool as ice sculpture. Kerouac was older than I expected (he was then thirty-five) and punched out with his hands to punctuate his lines. At the end, the audience cheered. I wanted to talk to him, about Mexico and Pensacola and jail and women; but I couldn’t

get close to him when it was over; he was engulfed by reporters and photographers and the cool dark women. That year, Jack Kerouac was a star. I went back upstairs into Seventh Avenue and wandered east to University Place and eased into the packed bar of the Cedar Street Tavern, where the painters did their drinking. For an hour, I drank beer alone at the bar and listened to an argument over centerfielders. Suddenly Kerouac and his friends came in, shouldering through the door, then merging with the other drinkers, three deep at the bar. Kerouac edged in beside me. He was drunk. He threw some crumpled bills on the bar. I said hello. He looked at me in a suspicious, bleary way and nodded.

Hamill’s poem “A Short Story, Like” ran in the Spring 1958 issue of Asterisk, Pratt's literary magazine, and was his first published piece.

A SHORT STORY, LIKE I met a charcoal-suited nothing at a Brooklyn College so-called literary meeting which was crowded with pseudos and some reals who had assembled to hear Jack Kerouac two friends and a trumpet player in a road version of the Beat Generation He was Brooks-Brothered fog-factoried striped and shaggy and talked as if he knew, he KNEW, and if you didn’t talk of Charlie Parker (great midnight inventor of bop) in tones of reverence then man, you just weren’t with it man, you were NO where He had three books with him I mean magazines Down Beat Playboy and Esquire (the issue with the story of Charlie Parker in it which was where of course he had heard about him not having ever ever been in Birdland when it was the BIRD’S land) It was a small place and they told us to write down questions as Jack Kerouac was not to make a speech but merely talk about things in general beat things like and I didn’t have any questions I was just there to dig him and see see what he said Broad-shouldered 190-lbs. Jack Kerouac came late as usual with what Ray Robinson would have called an entourage and sat down spoke softly answering questions like what do you think about the new trends in jazz (meaning what who knows maybe Giuffre) And Jack Kerouac could see they were pseudo but there were some reals there and he stayed with it and got excited about Dostoevsky until some English 201 starts asking about relationships between Smerdyakov and Katerina Ivanovna or some other jazz


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The others were crowding in, yelling, Jack, Jack, and he was passing beers and whiskeys to them, and Jack, Jack, he bought more, always polite, but his eyes scared, a twitch in his face and a sour smell coming off him in the packed bar that reminded me of the morning odor of my father in the bed at 378. Soon he was ranting about Jesus and nirvana and Moloch and bennies, then lapsing into what sounded like Shakespeare but probably wasn’t, because his friends all laughed. Under the combination of Kerouac and beer, my brain was scrambling. The painters gave

him a who-the-fuck-is- this -guy? look. College girls were coming over. A bearded painter bumped him on the way to the bathroom and Corso let out a wail of protest at the ceiling and the bartender looked nervous and soon I was drunk too. When I woke up the next day I wrote a poem in Beat cadences, mixing up the Village Vanguard and Brooklyn College and some bad Kenneth Rexroth, and a few days later submitted it (and another) to the Pratt literary magazine. I was astonished when both were accepted. They were my first published writings.

Excerpt from Hamill's memoir, A Drinking Life, (Little, Brown and Company), 1994, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

So Jack had one of his friends Arness read some poetry while his trumpet player counterpointed behind him and it was real good with Jack Kerouac standing digging his friends in all coolness big and I thought of him playing football with Columbia Well anyway the pain in the room was becoming evident and soon after more silly questions and things like what or do you realize that you are ruining American youth and dope and sex and booze then one of Jack Kerouac’s poet friends said The one word nobody here has even mentioned is Love and everybody shut up kind of because that of course was the one word they had forgotten and an English professor took a poll and only 10 percent had read ON THE ROAD So they left and I thought of Chet Baker that time in Murphy’s when he walked out because they wanted him to play the saints go marching in and didn’t like Zoot Sims and wanted Chet to sing my funny valentine and it was like that To get back to the charcoal-suited nothing I met him later in a bar down the street where he was getting one before going home to Mom or whatever and we talked a little and started drinking tappies and soon I was drunk and violent as I always get When talking to a phonus and he started with this jazz of what do you think this Jack Kerouac is a saint or what and I said Yes but not a god and I would like to talk to him to dig him in a bar not in a big room with guys like you And he said to me I was a phony (I was a phony) and I could feel the catch in my throat like when you get hit hard in the gym or you get thumbed in a fight and your stomach all tightens up and you rage rage and then he said a few more things And I brought one 185-lbs. from the floor and hit him on his tweed chin and he fell cashmerey backwards funny-like because his left foot was on the other side of this brass rail and then strong hands white aprons (the bouncers) and I was scraping sidewalk. –Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill Pete Hamill, who studied at Pratt in the 1950s, is an award-winning journalist, essayist, and novelist. In addition to A Drinking Life, he is also the author of Downtown: My Manhattan (Little, Brown and Company, 2004) and Tabloid City (Little, Brown and Company, 2011).

125 anniversary pr attfolio


The fifties


1 21951 5 aPrattonia n n i v e. After r s aalmost r y pa decade's r a t t fabsence o l i o due to the war, the yearbook roared back to life with punchy graphics, more photography, and clever illustrations that The inside cover of the came to define the publication's creative impact. Throughout Pratt's history, the yearbook has won multiple design awards.

C h a ll e n g i n g c o n f o r m i t y w i t h g r e at e r c r e at i v e f r e e d o m , P r att r e a c h e s f o r i t s


s h a r e o f t h e Am e r i c a n D r e a m . hen former Army commander and war hero Dwight D. Eisenhower assumed the presidency in 1953, he made good on his pledge to end the Korean War and redirect American resources to improving economic conditions at home. New technologies, from computer science to commercial television, rose up and surpassed America’s sagging manufacturing base. Professional opportunities for the country’s so-called white-collar workers surged. Pratt students, while career driven, were also keenly interested in world affairs, filling Memorial Hall to hear speakers such as Margaret Mead and Pearl S. Buck. Pratt students also hosted visits from Soviet students to their campus and traveled off campus to meet with Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro at the office of the Spanish-language newspaper La Prensa. On campus, students living in two of Pratt’s residence halls enjoyed the gift of state-of-the-art RCA color television sets from alumnus and trustee David Sarnoff, who led RCA’s industry rise. The fifties also ushered in an era of significant change within the Institute. After almost 50 years of Pratt family leadership, Francis H. Horn assumed the presidency in 1953. As enrollment in the Institute rose, departments initiated significant overhauls to deepen students’ academic learning and strengthen professional training. The largest development occurred in Pratt’s architecture department, which became a separate school in 1954, granting both bachelor’s and master’s degrees and offering new courses of study in urban planning and construction. Led by Dean Olindo Grassi, the School of Architecture attracted new faculty, including influential architecture critic Sibyl Moholy-Nagy and leading New York architect, Sidney Katz, ensuring that architecture students were exposed to both the ideals and practicalities of their field. Pratt became the largest architecture school in New York State and its research department attracted

1950 Shoe design is introduced into Pratt’s fashion curriculum. 1951 U.S. President Harry S Truman fires General Douglas MacArthur for insubordination in his conduct of the Korean War. 1951 Library School alumna Eleanor Estes becomes the first Pratt graduate to win a Newbery Medal for writing and illustrating the children’s book Ginger Pye. 1954 The U.S. Supreme Court hands down its landmark decision Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that segregation in public schools is “inherently unequal.” Prattler editorials denounce Southern campuses’ resistance to integration. 1955 Alan A. Bohlinger, an advertising design sophomore, participates in the television series The New York Times Youth Forum to discuss “What in Art Survives?” 1958 Mark Rothko lectures on painting at Pratt, saying “All teaching about self-expression is erroneous in art . . . Knowing yourself is valuable so that the self can be removed from the process.” 1959 NASA announces its selection of the first U.S. astronauts, known as “the Mercury Seven.”


2 5 cut an n i v ecampus r s a rand y regularly p r a t tdisrupted f o l i oclasses. Pratt threw an “El razing party” (right) to celebrate the 1950 removal of the elevated transportation line (left) that1 had through The MTA chief of transportation told the revelers: “If there were always so many passengers as there were on the last train, we could repair the line and make some money from it.”

The first unbeaten varsity soccer squad in Pratt Institute’s history and the 1959 co-champions of New York City won all 12 games of the season, scoring a total of 56 goals, under the leadership of Coach George William Davis (top row, left).

DeKalb Hall (above) and the Information Science Center were originally constructed in 1955 as men’s and women’s residences.

“ life at P ratt was serious business . B ut we had high hopes for the future . W e were passionate about art, about learning , and we loved almost every minute of the hard work e x pected of us .” — Valetta R owa , A rt E ducation ’ 6 1

numerous grants to investigate new building materials for high-rises, develop methods of community outreach, and explore further solutions to the city’s industrial and housing problems. These problems were especially pressing in Pratt’s own neighborhood of Clinton Hill, which had long lost its genteel appearance and upper-income residents. Among the board of trustees, there was dissension over whether to keep the Institute in Brooklyn or even if it should maintain its independence. But trustee Richardson “Jerry” Pratt Jr., great-grandson of the founder, convinced his relatives of Pratt’s civic responsibility to remain a neighborhood anchor. Pratt’s board welcomed the city’s passage of Title I, which authorized the removal of slums and construction of middle-income housing projects, because it also gave urban planner Robert Moses the authority to turn over land to educational institutions. The impact of Title I on Brooklyn—on Pratt’s campus and beyond—involved the Institute in the most ambitious land redevelopment program of the twentieth century. In Clinton Hill, over a thousand families were relocated to make way for high-rise housing complexes. Pratt received enough new property to begin plans to build two new residence halls (now DeKalb Hall and the Information Science Center), a student union, and a new gymnasium. The surge in


125 anniversary pr attfolio

municipal housing construction and urban redevelopment meant more research funds for the School of Architecture. When the School received $237,000 in government funds to study low-cost construction methods, Dean Grossi called the grant the “biggest feather in Pratt’s architectural cap.” Today, the results of Moses’s urban renewal policies are widely criticized, but the ideals that formed his vision were vital to the growth of Pratt’s architecture program. Like their peers in architecture, Art School students witnessed an era of changing values that upended expectations of both fine and commercial art. In classes led by process-minded Abstract Expressionists, students were introduced to art’s new passion for subjectivity and asked to consider the world at large as well as their personal experiences for creative inspiration. The Manhattan-based Pratt Graphics Center, established in 1956 by Graphic-Arts Chair Fritz Eichenberg, furthered students’ exposure to the burgeoning art scene in downtown Manhattan and the community of artists who were making New York the center of the art world. Eichenberg’s classes linked fine art with mass communication and moved Pratt’s illustration students beyond the traditional practices of painting and sculpture. As a result, a generation of artists and designers emerged from Pratt in the fifties equipped to transcend conven-

1950 s at Pratt

The radical ideas associated with the abstract movements of the 1950s did not change the art school’s professional objectives, but the teaching process was injected with a new spirit of intellectual inquiry.

In the mid-fifties, General Motors hired a team of female industrial designers, the majority from Pratt, to design car interiors. This publicity photo shows GM executive Harley Earl surrounded by the “damsels of design.”

“ C oming to P ratt, suddenly I was surrounded by hundreds of people who were e x tremely talented . T hese kids could knock your socks off with what they could do .” — R on T ravisano , advertising design ’ 6 0

tional forms of expression and produce compelling visuals, whether for a print ad, commercial, book cover, or magazine article. In Pratt’s advertising design program, which regularly earned accolades from the industry for its student work, the combined effects of the new emphasis on individualism and the department’s longtime advocacy of modernist design principles propelled many of its graduates into top positions at leading agencies. In fact, because Pratt admen and -women were so good, they earned a stern moral lecture from the Institute’s 1958 graduation speaker, the Reverend Dr. Robert J. McCracken, who railed against the “hidden and irresponsible persuaders in gray flannel suits” who he accused of controlling the minds of the American public. In 1959, the department was renamed Visual Communications, a reflection of the scientific thinking of its new chair, Will Burtin. “The word ‘advertising’ is a little old hat, don’t you think?” Burtin asked, when interviewed by The Prattler about the future of the department. While some students criticized Burtin’s lack of experience with the “hard sell,” most were quick to embrace the department’s use of psychology, statistical data, and symbology to connect with consumers. This creative collaboration of art, science, and experimentation drove the college forward.

p r at t p i o n e e r

H erschel L evit Herschel Levit’s influential classes in visual communications, design, illustration, and photography created a new generation of media leaders in the 1950s. Urbane and charismatic, Levit’s contagious spirit affected students such as Paul Rand, Edward Koren, Marshall Arisman, Steve Frankfurt, Sheila Metzner, George Lois, Stan Richards, Len Sirowitz, and Ron Travisano. These alumni revered their teacher, who opened new horizons and enriched their lives by showing them how all the arts are interrelated and enabled them to adapt their style to the job at hand. Levit showed students the breadth of options their education could give them by example. Diverging gracefully from painting to printmaking to illustration, Levit created print advertisements, children’s books, and cover art for record albums. Levit’s commercial work received many honors and awards and his drawings, paintings, and photographs are in several major museum collections. In recognition of Levit’s achievements and his 30 years of teaching, Pratt Institute named him Professor Emeritus in 1977.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


pet er bl ake Architectu re I al u mn u s Pinwheel House, Water Mill, New York, 1955 Best known for his prolific writings, the architect, critic, and former editor in chief of Architectural Forum named his weekend house for its shape and the way its walls could be slid open on steel overhead tracks. Architecture critic Alastair Gordon writes: “The perimeter line between inside and outside, between architecture and landscape, was effectively dissolved. . . . Here was Action Architecture realized: a house that could respond to the weather,

Courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press

the views, and the personal moods of its inhabitant.”

© The Estate of Philip Guston

P hil ip Gu st on fine Arts I facu lty Zone, 1953–1954, oil on canvas With its mist of small red hatch-marks filling the painting’s center, Zone was created out of hundreds of abstract fields of shimmering strokes, the massed paint pressing forward out of the picture plane. Art historian Michael Auping wrote that many in the art world see Zone as among Guston’s “most ravishing paintings.”

s . n e i l fu ji ta Advertising D esign I facu lty Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment/Legacy

Time Out, 1959, cover art Art director Fujita chose one of his own abstract paintings for the cover art for Dave Brubeck’s seminal recording. Moving cover art away from conventional illustration, Fujita frequently used the works of modern painters and photographers to create album covers for legendary jazz artists because, in his words, the new sounds “. . . called for abstraction [and] a certain kind of stylization.”


125 anniversary pr attfolio

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

© Lillian Bassman

Li ll ian B assma n Ill u stration I al umna In This Year of Lace; Black—With One White Glove; It’s a Cinch!, Harper’s Bazaar, 1950–51, silver gelatin prints Bassman’s enigmatic yet alluring photographs of women in lingerie created complex narratives out of items that had up to this point been only represented in magazines as serviceable foundation garments. Vanity Fair called her one of the “grand masters” of 20th-century fashion photography.

F ranz Kl ine F ine ArtS I facu lty Painting Number 2, 1954, oil on canvas A major contributor to the Abstract Expressionist movement, Kline’s large-scale gestural black-and-white abstractions gave monumental significance to the dynamics of the graphic line. The artist said that he painted “the white as well as the black, and the white is just as important.”

Gene Federico © 2012 The Franz Kline Estate/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York + Albright-Knox Art Gallery/Art Resource, N.Y.

Advertising D esign I al u mnu s Woman’s Day, 1953, print advertisement Federico created this memorable typographical image for an early ad campaign for Woman’s Day magazine. The art director’s

G e o r g e Mu l hau ser I nd ustrial Design I al u mn u s Coconut Chair, 1958

simple but elegant transformation of the wheels of a woman’s bicycle into two dynamic Futura typeface O’s displays Federico’s talent for witty and winning uses of type to heighten advertising’s impact. Federico became an AIGA medalist in 1987.

Mulhauser created this chair while working in the design studio of George Nelson. With its clean lines and comfortable seat, it was an immediate success and Permission by Woman’s Day, Hearst Magazines

signaled a new interest in relaxed, playful design for home furniture. It is held in museum

Courtesy of George Mulhauser

collections worldwide.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



Courtesy of Past Print


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

o tto s to r c h F ine A rts I alu mnus McCall’s, circa 1955, magazine layout

Rober t Riger

For McCall’s, Storch transforms text into an expressive wave of movement. Storch used a range of photographic

F ine Arts I al u mn u s

processes to create special effects with text before the

Sports Illustrated, 1958, photograph

advent of computer technology.

Riger captured Baltimore Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas’s legendary pass during the National Football League championship against the New York Giants. Historian David Halberstam described Riger as “the preeminent artist of a golden age of American sports in the years after World War II.”

Volkswagen® trademarks used with permission of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Robert Riger/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

g e orge l ois advertising design I al u mn u s Volkswagen Beetle, 1959, ad campaign “Think Small” was voted the number one ad campaign of the 20th century by Advertising Age. Doyle Dane Bernbach’s marketing overcame American resistance to Germany’s “People’s Car,” which, in addition noisy, underpowered, and uncomfortable.

W il l iam Katav olos Indu strial Design I al u mnu s Architectu re I facu lty T Chair, or Side Chair, 1952 Calling the T Chair a “modern design icon,” Vogue praised the chair’s “lean and mean” lines. Katavolos collaborated with Pratt students Ross Littell and Douglas Kelley on the chair, which is now in museum collections worldwide.


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© The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y.

to being small, was also viewed as ugly,

Norman Norel l Fashion I al u mn u s Traina-Norell Fashion Line, circa 1950s The inventive construction of this pleated sheath dress, which billows out when the wearer moves, illustrates Norell’s genius for relaxed yet elegant silhouettes. A pioneering designer of American high fashion, Norell won the first-ever Coty American Fashion Critics Award and, in 1956, became the first designer

Gjon Mili/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y.

inducted into the Coty Award Hall of Fame.

jack tworkov fine arts I fac u lty The Wheel, 1953, oil on canvas One of the defining figures of Abstract Expressionism, Tworkov searched for

© 2012 Ford Motor Company and Wieck Media Services, Inc.

orderly revelation in his exploration of gesture and form. According to James Panero of The New Criterion, “[Tworkov’s] paintings do not seduce, they secure. They dig a foundation, erect four square walls, and put a roof over your head that is built to last.”

W il l iam Boy er Indu strial Design I al u mn u s Ford Motor Thunderbird, 1955 Boyer was the lead designer for the original two-seater Thunderbird, the first personal luxury car to be manufactured in the United States. More than two million models of the Thunderbird have sold since its original launch.

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alumni view Edward koren

My Role Model, 2012, pen and ink, watercolor, color pencil

Edward koren For 50 years, illustrator Edward Koren’s distinctive New Yorker cartoon characters have been offering gently humorous commentary on daily life and contemporary society. Recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 1970, Koren has exhibited widely and collaborated with such noted authors as Delia Ephron, Peter Mayle, Calvin Trillin, and George Plimpton.


125 anniversary pr attfolio


“The Pratt tradition began in our family with my father and continues with my daughter, Kate. We’re proud to give back by supporting The Fund for Pratt.” — Robert Wilkoff (B. Arch. ’75)

For 125 years, Pratt Institute has been making history by educating the creative leaders of the future. Your contribution to The Fund for Pratt supports history in the making and helps to ensure that students like Kate Wilkoff (B.F.A. Fashion ’12) have the resources they need to excel.

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1 2 5 onanew n n meaning i v e r swhen a r ycollege p r astudents t t f o rebelled l i o against the hierarchies of higher education. Pratt’s School of Architecture students, “Flower power” took seen in a 1967 Prattonia portrait, were early leaders of the student demonstrations on campus against the administration.

The Sixties P r att c o n f r o n t s t h e c o u n t r y ’ s s o c i a l ,

1960 The Food and Drug Administration approves the Pill.

p o l i t i c a l , a n d c u lt u r a l c h a n g e s a n d e m e r g e s w i t h a n e w v i s i o n o f A r t s e d u c at i o n .

1961 Pratt acquires an IBM computer and offers an elective course in programming.

he sixties were a period of turbulence and transformation for Pratt Institute. The surprising election of the charismatic young president John F. Kennedy and the moral fortitude of the nascent Civil Rights movement created a hunger for change, and Pratt, like many colleges, quickly became a center of student activism. In 1960, The Prattler featured several editorials denouncing the segregationist practices of Southern colleges, and a rally brought National Association for the Advancement of Colored People representatives to Pratt to speak to a standing-room only audience on the efforts to fight discrimination. On campus that same year were students who would become cultural vanguardists of their fields, including political satirist Jules Feiffer, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, and Fluxus artist Al Hansen. Hansen’s “happenings” on Pratt’s campus regularly attracted New York’s avant-garde to Brooklyn, and the increasingly radical nature of these freeform performances anticipated the restive spirit that pervaded the Institute just a few years later. But following the shocking death of President Kennedy in late 1963, the Pratt community experienced almost constant political and social upheaval, both on campus and in its surrounding neighborhoods. In 1964, Bedford-Stuyvesant suffered through three days of rioting following the police shooting of a black teenager. To counter the devastating impact of disinvestment and poverty, Pratt’s Urban Planning department formed the Pratt Center for Community Development and began to partner with local residents and civic leaders to rebuild Brooklyn. On campus, students and faculty organized “teach-ins” to raise awareness of the country’s militarism and racial inequality. But dissatisfaction with Pratt’s internal issues—the rising cost of tuition, the lack of space, and particularly the Institute’s resistance to modernization—also galvanized student activism.

1962 Andy Warhol paints Campbell’s Soup Cans.


1963 The Advertising Design program expands to include film and television. 1964 U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson announces the closing of Brooklyn Navy Yard. 1965 Pratt acquires Adelphi Academy to house the School of Architecture. 1966 Leonid Brezhnev is elected secretary-general of the USSR Communist Party. 1967 Pratt Art School becomes the School of Art and Design. 1969 The Myrtle Avenue “El” runs for the last time.

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The modest hemlines and neatly trimmed haircuts of the class of 1960 reflect the continued influence of the Eisenhower era.

In 1968, as tensions mounted over creative control of the curriculum, students turned against Albert Christ-Janer, longtime dean of the Art School, and Olindo Grossi, dean of the School of Architecture, complaining that teaching methods were “too conservative.”

“ O u r t i m e at P r at t wa s a m a z i n g . O u r p e e r s , t h e fa c u lt y, t h e c o m p e t i t i o n a n d t h e e s s e n c e o f t h e ‘ c i t y. ’ I t wa s a m a g i c a l , i n t e n s e , c r e at i v e , a n d d y n a m i c t i m e . A t r u e g i f t.” — Pa m e l a K r e n t, A d v e r t i s i n g D e s i g n a n d V i s u a l C o m m u n i c at i o n s ’ 6 6

p r at t p i o n e e r

s i b y l m o h o ly-n a g y

Pratt Institute celebrated its 75th anniversary in the fall of 1962 and received a congratulatory telegram from President John F. Kennedy.


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As one of the early faculty members of Pratt’s School of Architecture, historian Sibyl Moholy-Nagy introduced the formative ideas of modern architecture to Pratt’s curriculum. An actress and playwright during her youth in Weimar Germany, Moholy-Nagy began her academic career after publishing a biography, Experiment in Totality, of her late husband, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, the Constructivist artist, Bauhaus teacher, and founder of Chicago’s Institute of Design. Students were required to take three years of architectural history with Moholy-Nagy, who included the study of cultural history, urban history, non-Western architecture, and philosophy as part of her course work. In the classroom and at the lectern, she addressed crucial issues in provocative terms, whether commenting on the “boredom of the skyscraper box,” or—long before it became fashionable—warning of the hazards of technology to the natural environment. The celebrated architect Paul Rudolph wrote of Moholy-Nagy: “Her students loved her, partially because she demanded their best." Shortly after her retirement from Pratt in 1971, the American Institute of Architects awarded Moholy-Nagy a Critic’s Medal. The citation lauded her as “a writer of immense integrity with a world-encompassing view of architecture,” a perspective that has been her legacy to the Institute that nurtured and supported her ideas.

1960 s at Pratt

Students of professor Ivan Rigby examine tension-compression designs created for 3-D Foundation. Principles of Foundation allowed Pratt students to move fluidly from fine design to fine art.

The crowning of an all-Institute Sno-Queen, shown here at the 1963 Pratt Winter Festival, had been a yearly tradition since the 1940s.

“ W e w e r e a lway s e n c o u r a g e d t o n o t o n ly b e c r e at i v e a n d g o o d c r a f t s p e r s o n s , b u t a l s o t o e x p r e s s o u r i n d i v i d u a l i t y.” — C h a r l e s C h u r c h wa r d , g r a p h i c d e s i g n ’ 7 1

As enrollment ticked upward, a “generation gap” emerged between Pratt's leaders and its students and faculty. Among the artists and designers who gravitated to Pratt, administrative problems did little to diminish their spirited commitment to “the work” or stifle fresh ideas about art making and teaching. But many students did feel restricted by the traditional teaching methods and rigid graduation requirements that had shaped generations of Pratt graduates. In 1968, architecture students launched a strike, demanding the resignation of Dean Olindo Grossi and a complete curriculum overhaul. Students in fashion and other Art School departments also began to agitate for change and more student voice in their education. The Institute’s various department leaders were forced to address bracing criticism that pushed curricula in new directions. Political and educational concerns converged as more of Pratt’s student body and faculty responded to the rapid cultural changes, new lines of authority, and radical ideas about art and life. The disorder on campus was exacerbated by the rising anger in its surrounding neighborhoods. Throughout these tumultuous years, the Pratt Center (which became the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development following the appointment of Ron

Shiffman as director), extended its outreach efforts to form bonds with communities in Oceanhill-Brownsville, Williamsburg, Red Hook, and East Harlem. In the spring of 1969, reporters from The New York Times filed regular dispatches on the intensifying conflicts among Pratt, its students, and the local community. A major fire broke out in the East Building and vandalism, while never proven, was suspected. Student protests forced Pratt to cancel several days of classes. On May 5, students arrived in the morning to find the campus gates padlocked. According to the Times, “militants” had chained the gates in support of the Black Students Union’s demands for open enrollment, black and Latin American curricula and faculty, and representation for students and the community on the board of trustees. Peace was restored when the Institute’s president, James Donovan, finally agreed to sit down with the Black Students Union and other student protesters and address their concerns. The semester still ended with both the Schools of Art and Design and Architecture without leaders, but new curriculums were being designed, a student senate was in its formative stages, and the faculty was now represented on the board of trustees. Dialogue– sometimes contentious–was finally yielding positive outcomes.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


A l ex Kat z Painting I Fac u lty © Alex Katz/Licensed by VAGA, New York, Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York,/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y.

Upside Down Ada, 1965, oil on canvas Ada, the artist’s wife, muse, and favorite subject, has appeared as a vehicle for his formal explorations of flatness, light, and color for nearly 50 years. Known for creating an expressly American form of realism, Katz showed 40 paintings of Ada in an exhibition at New York’s

Scott Frances/OTTO

Jewish Museum in 2006.

a l k onet zni

Char l e s Gwathmey

illustration I al u mn u s

Archtectu re I Fac u lt y

Disney Lunch Box, circa 1961

Private Home, Amagansett, New York, 1965

A designer and developer of Disney

Designed for the architect’s parents, Gwathmey’s

merchandise, sales of Konetzni’s

modernist revision of the summer cottage is seen

school bus topped nine million,

as one of the most famous designs of its era and is

making it among the best-selling

credited with launching the 29-year-old’s career. In

lunch boxes of all time.

an August 2011 issue of Architectural Digest, Editor In Chief Margaret Russell credits the Gwathmey house for

T o ny S m i t h Fine arts I Fac ulty Cigarette, 1961, painted steel Creating drama through simplicity and scale, the minimalist sculptor was cited by art historian William Seitz in the 1967 Time cover story “Sculpture: Master of the Monumentalists” as being in the vanguard of “sculptors without studios, who have their drawings turned into steel at a factory,” a reference to how Smith’s outsized, geometric works were executed.


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Tony Smith Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund. © Estate of Tony Smith/Artists Rights Society (ARS), N.Y., Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y.

sparking her successful career as a design writer.

© Disney

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York

El l swo r t h K e l ly Painting I alu mn us

lucid radiance” of Kelly’s five vertical panels placed in the order of

Donald Genaro

the chromatic spectrum, adding it was the kind of “big American

I nd u strial D esign I

painting” people from around the world travel to New York to

al u mnu s

see. World-renowned for his exploration of color and shape, Kelly

Trimline Telephone, 1962–65

embraced abstraction and developed his signature style when he

Designed for the Bell Telephone

returned to the United States in 1954 after six years in Paris.

System, the Western Electric

Blue Green Yellow Orange Red, 1966, oil on canvas New York Times art critic John Russell praised the “exact and

Trimline Telephone was introduced as an alternative to traditional models. The ergonomic design and lighted dials or pushbuttons made

D avid Edward Byrd

telephones lighter, sleeker, and easier to use.

Fine Arts I Fac u lty Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1968, concert poster The poster is Number 8 on Billboard magazine’s list of “The 25 Best Rock Posters of All Time.” Byrd achieved the poster’s disorienting effect by painting a film positive from behind in acrylic and using a hex grid to create the hair as a

Courtesy of David Edward Byrd

Rober t Brownjohn

Jul es F ei ffer

Graphic Design I al u mnu s and Fac u lt y Goldfinger, 1964, title sequence

ill ustration I al umn us

Brownjohn’s sequence of live-action scenes from the

N o r t o n J us t e r

film projected onto the body of a bikini-clad starlet painted entirely in gold opens the critically acclaimed

A rchitecture I facult y The Phantom Tollbooth, 1961 An immediate best seller, The Phantom Tollbooth has remained a children’s favorite since it was first published in 1961. In 2011, The New Yorker literary critic Adam Gopnik called the novel “a classic.”

third James Bond film. Brownjohn’s psychedelic vision Courtesy of Random House

Donald Genaro Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y., The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Robert Brownjohn GOLDFINGER © 1964 UNITED ARTISTS CORPORATION & DANJAQ, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Courtesy of MGM Media Licensing

mass of colorful psychedelic photons.

passed the film censor, and won him a British Design and Art Direction Gold Award in 1965.

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iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


S t ephen F rankfur t Adv ertising Design I al u mn u s Rosemary’s Baby, 1968, ad campaign When Hollywood producers turned to Madison Avenue to boost sales of movie tickets, they tapped the skills and expertise of Frankfurt, who was then head of Young & Rubicam. For Polanski’s controversial horror flick, Frankfurt teased the audience, taking out ads that urged readers to “Pray for Rosemary’s Baby” in the birth

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

announcement sections of newspapers.

Louis Silve rstei n fine arts I al u mn u s The New York Times, July 21, 1969 Named corporate art director of the venerable newspaper in 1969, graphic designer and artist Silverstein designed this now-famous front page, announcing the historic moon landing. The four-word headline was the paper’s largest banner headline to date at that time.

Fine Art I al umn u s The Flintstones, 1960 Until it was surpassed by The Simpsons in 1997, The Flintstones was the longest-running animated television series.

© Democratic National Committee

Haw l ey P rat t T o ny S chwar t z Adv ertising Design I al u mn u s Peace, Little Girl (Daisy), 1964, television commercial The notorious television spot for Lyndon B. Johnson’s reelection campaign aired only once, on September 7, 1964, but it is still remembered for its audacity and impact. A 1964 New York Times article called the spot “the most controversial TV commercial of all time.” Schwartz, a pioneer of audio recording, was the first art director to employ real children for commercial voiceovers.

F ine arts I al u mn u s The Pink Panther, 1969–79, cartoon character Pratt co-created the Pink Panther for the opening and closing credit sequences of the Inspector Clouseau detective farces starring Peter Sellers. Pratt later developed cartoon shorts and a television series for the popular character.

Louis Silverstein From The New York Times, July 21, 1969. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited; Joseph Barbera ™ & © Hanna-Barbera (s12). Characters from THE FLINTSTONES used courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc; Hawley Pratt PINK PANTHER CARTOONS © 1963 MIRISCHGEOFFREY D.F. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Courtesy of MGM Media Licensing

J o s e p h Barb e ra

Photo © The Art Institute of Chicago

Georg e Lois Advertising Design I al u mn u s Esquire, April 1968, cover art Voted the third best magazine cover of the last 40 years by the members of the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2005, Lois’s

Eva H ess e

cover design borrows from the iconography of Saint Sebastian to transform the prize fighter and

Ad v ertising D esign I al umnA

conscientious objector into a modern-day martyr.

Hang Up, 1966, acrylic on cloth over wood;

Courtesy of George Lois

acrylic on cord over steel tube With a title that plays off of the slang for neurosis and the act of displaying a painting, Hang Up was Hesse’s

paul rand

seminal commentary on her craft. She described it as the first piece of her work that achieved the level

illu stration I al u mn us

of “absurdity or extreme feeling” she intended. Time

ABC, 1962; UPS, 1962; IBM, 1972, logo design

Out New York said of the work: “The piece is full of

The logo for American Broadcasting Company (ABC), which Rand

paradoxes: assertive yet vulnerable, it takes up a lot of

created in 1962 using Bauhaus typeface, is still in use today. For

space but refuses to fill it.”

UPS, Rand used an image of a medieval shield with a package on top. Rand first created IBM’s logo in 1956, and continued working on it throughout the 1960s. First used officially in 1972, this logo used stripes to create a sense of speed and dynamism. This design remains the basis for IBM’s logo to this day.

K e rmi t L o v e Fine Arts I faculty

in 1970 with a headline proclaiming Sesame Street “TV’s Gift to Children.” One of two Muppets to have a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Big Bird made Love a partner in the early education of generations of children around the world.

Courtesy of Sesame Workshop © Knoll, Inc.

Paul Rand courtesy of IBM, courtesy of the estate of Paul Rand (ABC and UPS logos); Len Sirowitz Courtesy of ExxonMobil Historical Collection, Briscoe Center, UT-Austin

Big Bird, 1969 Love’s puppet made the cover of Time magazine

L e n S irowit z Adv ertising Design I Alu mn u s Mobil Oil, 1967, public service campaign Created for Mobil to promote its image as a socially responsible corporation, “Till death us do part” was one of a series of ads conceived by legendary art director Len Sirowitz to publicize highway safety. Now regarded as a paradigm of publicservice advertising, Sirowitz’s ads used stunning documentary-style photographs, dramatic special effects, and even morbid humor to underscore Mobil’s message to drivers: “We want you to live.” Sirowitz was chosen as Ad Weekly’s number-one art

Char l es Pollock

director in America in 1968 and 1970.

Indu strial Design I al u mnu s Pollock Executive Chair, 1963 With a distinctive aluminum rim holding it together structurally and visually, the Pollock Executive Chair, designed for Knoll, introduced a look that complemented business machines, telephones, workstations, and skyscrapers.

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alumni view sylvia plachy

My par ent s wan ted me to stu dy lan gua ges and pur sue a libe ral art s edu cat ion . I wan ted to stu dy art . In tho se day s, I looked to the I Chi ng for gui dan ce. Aft er thr owi ng a few coin s, I arr ived at a hex agr am I like d: Ch’ ien /Th e Cre ativ Alo ng wit h oth er ins cru tab e. le sta tem ent s it wen t on: “TH E CRE ATI VE wor ks sub lim e suc ces s/fu rth erin g thr oug h per severa nce .” I, of cou rse , too k it to mea n to go on. Pra tt was the coc oon I nee ded —a plac e to dre am wit h my eye s ope n. Slee p dep rive d afte r all- nig hte rs in my par ent s’ kitc hen , I rod e the GG tra in bet wee n Gra nd Ave nue in Elm hur st to Clin ton /Wa shi ngt on and bac k aga in at nig ht. I rem emb er bala nci ng dow el con stru ctio ns dur ing rus h hou r for Mr. Erl eba che r’s 3-D clas s and larg e wet oil pain ting s for Ric har d Lin dne r, who tau ght Cre ative Exp res sion and wou ld ofte n talk abo ut sec rets tha t lurked in imp ort ant wor ks. I mat ure d slow ly: I wat che d, stu died per iods in Art His tor y, and sat wit h my frie nds Sur a and Viv ian in the PI Sho p eat ing my fath er’s rad ish san dwi che s fast ene d wit h rub ber ban ds. I atte nde d a few pea ce mar che s; trie d my han d at woo dcu ts, typ ogr aph y, dra win g, coll age , etc. ; and enjoyed the sme ll of tur pen tine unt il my jun ior yea r whe n I too k an elec tive cou rse wit h pro fess ors Art hur Fre ed and Owe n But ler and fell in love wit h pho tog rap hy and my cou rse was set . As a pho tog rap her, I cou ld exp erie nce the wor ld. For this layo ut I pul led pict ure s from the ’60 s tha t had bee n sto red in a drawer mar ked “OL D.” The re is one from a Pen teco sta l chu rch in Bro okly n, one from the sub way, and a few from Litt le Ital y. For the bac kgr oun d I use d piec es of The Con fron tati on , a ser ies of sma ll pict ure s of my fath er and Elli ot, my boy frie nd the n, who late r bec ame my hus ban d. I mem oria lize d one of the ir phi loso phi cal arg ume nts . The Mu seu m of Mod ern Art ’s pho tog rap hy cur ato r, Joh n Sza rko wsk i, bou ght the op-a rt con stru ctio n for MoM A’s coll ecti on befo re I gra dua ted .


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sylvia plachy Sylvia Plachy, a photographer for the Village Voice for 30 years, has published six books, including Unguided Tour (Aperture, 1990), for which she received an International Center of Photography Infinity Award. Her photographs are held in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and other major museums. The recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in 1977, Plachy also received the German Society of Photography’s Dr. Erich Salomon Prize, which recognizes lifetime achievement in photojournalism.

Furthering through Perseverance, 2012, collage

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William Gedney (center), a professor of photography, leads a class discussion in the apartment of one of his students. By the seventies, the goals of the fine arts programs were no longer strictly professional. Students were encouraged to nurture themselves as emerging artists, using the school’s diverse offerings to develop a visual literacy and language.

The seventies


2 5 a natn Ohio’s i v e rKent s a State ry p r attf o l i o the Pratt community. The shootings of four1 students University outraged Pratt joined other colleges to shut down the city’s bridges and march on Wall Street in protest.

The Student Coordinate poses for its 1971 Prattonia portrait. The organization was Pratt’s first form of student-elected government.

F Photos: Lynn Saville (top); LeRoy W. Henderson (bottom left)

N e w Y o r k C i t y ’ s f i s c a l c r i s i s t e s t s P r att ’ s s t r e n g t h o f s p i r i t. or the greater part of the 20th century, New York had been a mecca for the ambitious, the artistic, and the elite. But following the chaotic events of the late sixties, the city suffered from a disastrous decline that threatened its best institutions—including Pratt. Like the nation at large, New York experienced a recession that crippled growth and depleted its coffers. Vital city services suffered and neighborhoods already burdened by poverty fell deeper into decline. Local crime rates rose and Pratt’s enrollment fell, creating a significant budget deficit. Resourcefulness and resiliency had always been necessary to meet the challenges of Pratt’s rigorous teaching, but during the seventies, a collective strength of spirit was critical to Pratt’s survival. In January 1970, the sudden death of Pratt president James Donovan was followed by the appointment of Henry Saltzman, a former education aide to New York City Mayor John Lindsay. But Saltzman’s efforts to address the Institute’s fiscal problems resulted in increased tensions, as did anger on campus at the United States’ continued involvement in the Vietnam War. The strain of these confrontations took its toll on the Institute. During this critical juncture, concerned trustees, faculty, and students reached across the divide to work together to resolve the Institute’s most pressing issues. Trustee Esther McDonald Lloyd-Jones spearheaded efforts to bring government grants to Pratt to help meet expenses and also convinced fellow board members to include faculty, student, and young alumni representation. Engineering students Stan Halle and Cornelia Griffen worked with classmates to create proposals to control tuition costs and encourage collaboration between the arts and sciences at Pratt. “We had only 45 minutes to present our ideas to the board,” recalls Halle, “which then deliberated for the entire afternoon behind closed doors.” When the meeting ended, the board had adopted all of the students’ recommendations. Saltzman finally

resigned in 1972. By then a new leader had clearly emerged, one better able to steer the Institute toward recovery. Richardson “Jerry” Pratt Jr., the great-grandson of the founder and a dedicated trustee since the early sixties, was widely regarded as sympathetic, open minded, and a good listener. One of the president’s early important decisions: the appointment of Carroll Cannon as Pratt’s first provost to govern the Institute’s academic affairs. As the decade progressed, the creative energy of Pratt more than compensated for the limited resources at hand. In the classrooms, dedicated teachers such as Mary Buckley and Joe Smith continued to refine Pratt’s art and design curriculums and open new avenues of learning. “Working with students keeps you alive as an artist,” said Smith, who was then a 20-year veteran in Pratt’s School of Art and Design. It was during this period that Pratt explored more experimental means of learning, including independent study and apprenticeships, and even allowed motivated students to design their own degrees. For fun, there were annual Halloween parties showcasing students’ outrageous costumes and Spring festivals with kite flying and picnics. In 1973, Pratt students, faculty, and alumni opened the Burgerhaus Gallery–a nonprofit artists’ space above the Burgerhouse Coffee Shop at the corner of DeKalb and Hall–with money raised from benefit dances. That same year, “Poor Richard’s Luncheon Theatre” offered weekly lunchtime performances of classic and modern plays produced by Pratt students. Like Pratt’s drama club, PlayShop, in previous decades, the opportunity to perform, direct, and design—now with the support of Pratt’s new department of theater—became another critical creative outlet for the Pratt community. By the decade’s end, the efforts of Pratt’s community, the faculty, and the students to address fiscal realities and still maintain Pratt’s reputation for excellence started to pay off. Enrollment rose, the deficit shrunk, and the Institute was ready to meet the demands of the future.

1970 New York City hosts the first Gay Pride Parade. / 1 9 7 1 Students of Pratt’s Department of Tropical Architecture travel to Nigeria to study ways to preserve West Africa’s rural communities. / 19 7 2 SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Talks) and ABM (anti-ballistic missile) treaties between the Soviet Union and United States are ratified, initiating a freeze on nuclear weapons. / 1 9 7 3 Prattler editorial demands impeachment of President Richard M. Nixon. / 1 9 7 4 Richard M. Nixon resigns from the presidency after escaping impeachment for obstruction of justice. / 1 9 7 4 Pratt student Cyndi Meserve becomes the first woman in history to play in an NCAA men’s varsity basketball game. / 1 9 7 5 Stan Lee, creator of the Hulk, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spider-Man, lectures at Pratt. / 1 9 7 6 The United States celebrates its bicentennial. / 1977 Pratt theater student Dorsey Wright wins a lead role in the film production of Hair. / 1 9 7 9 Iranian revolutionaries take more than 60 American embassy workers hostage.

p r at t p i o n e e r

Charles Goslin Graphic designer and illustrator Charles Goslin was revered as much as a teacher and mentor as he was as a consummate visual storyteller and image maker. Joining Pratt's faculty in 1966, Goslin was known for his assignments based on clippings from local newspapers. A student might be asked to illustrate a brochure for an animal chiropractor, an ad for an automotive product that made cars smell brand new, or a flyer for a new shopping mall in the Roman Colosseum—the latter, a fictional piece of news created by Goslin. “Charles Goslin represented the Pratt design aesthetic: strong concept expressed through visual metaphor,” says Kathleen Creighton, chair of Communications Design. “He educated generations of illustrators and designers but more than that, he touched their lives in a way that is most extraordinary, remaining a mentor to many until, literally, the day he died.”

Among the many Pratt alumni to whom Goslin remained a mentor was Steph Goralnick, who recalls a visit to his Park Slope brownstone, where Goslin established his own design practice in 1958. “A piece of design mastery, his apartment was an amazing array of perfectly placed objects, obsessively ordered in a balance of geometric precision.” Goslin’s studio reflected his innate visual sensibilities as well as his understanding of design’s ability to nourish the designer and viewer as well as satisfy the client. “Never give up. Never give in,” he told graduating students at Pratt’s May 2003 Commencement, when he received Pratt’s Distinguished Teacher Award. He continued, “That small child with the scissors and colored paper, sitting in the middle of the parental living room rug, making shapes out of beautiful colors, for his or her own joy, not for money, not for critical acclaim, that child is you. You have the opportunity to create what never was. Forget about revolutionizing the world. Work for the joy of working, and without intending to, you will help to change your corner of the world.”

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iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

bil l gol d advertising design I al u mn u s Dirty Harry, 1971, movie poster Gold’s Warhol-inspired images of film star Clint Eastwood with a gun highlight the violent theme of the first of the Dirty Harry films. Gold designed the posters for the movie’s sequels—and for all of Eastwood’s subsequent movies—until his retirement in 2004.

Georg e Segal art edu cation I al u mn u s Walk, Don’t Walk, 1976, plaster, cement, metal, painted wood, electric light A preeminent Pop movement sculptor, Segal created his sculptures by wrapping subjects in plaster casts, then setting the hollow figures in everyday tableaux. In 2008, The New York Times said of Walk, Don’t Walk: “It is hard not to be shaken by the passionate honesty and existential weight of this work . . . the figures . . . know that life is full of challenges, of hardship, but they are ready to soldier on, to ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

move forward in the world.”

Photos L-R: Photo Copyright © 1972 Babette Mangolte All Rights of Reproduction Reserved; Courtesy of BAM Hamm Archives

Photo: Sheldan C. Collins, art © The George and Helen Segal Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, New York


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Rober t W ilson architect u re and painting I al u mnu s Einstein on the Beach, 1976, opera This minimalist opera was scored by composer Philip Glass and designed and produced by Wilson. A four-act, five-hour rumination on the philosophy of Albert Einstein, Einstein on the Beach transformed the traditional notion of opera. An international tour of the opera is currently in progress.

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

M orison S. Cousins indu strial design I al u mn u s Promax Compact Hairdryer, 1976 The sleek Promax hairdryer, made by The Gillette Company, was created by the simple fusing of two tubes, and was designed to look European. The hairdryer is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art’s Architecture and Design Objects.

Tomie dePaol a illu stration I al u mn u s Strega Nona, 1975 Strega Nona was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 1976. Author Tomie dePaola recently received The American Library Association 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his “substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.”

Ron Travi sano advertising I al u mnu s and fac u lt y Meow Mix, 1979, television commercial Travisano created the singing cat commercial with his firm, Della Femina Travisano & Partners, for Ralston Purina. When Meow Mix announced plans in 2002 to bring back the ad campaign, The New York Times called the tune “one of the best known, most readily sung commercial jingles.”

Tomie DePaola Reprinted with the permission of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division from STREGA NONA by Tomie dePaola. Copyright © 1975 Tomie dePaola. Morison S. Cousins Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art, New York/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, N.Y. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Courtesy of Della Femina Advertising

J u le s F e i ffe r ill u stration I al umnus Me, Me, Me, Me, Me, 1972, editorial cartoon Feiffer won a Pulitzer Prize in 1986 for his editorial cartoons, which ran in the Village Voice for more than four decades. This 1972 cartoon exemplifies his witty commentary on contemporary urban anxieties and politics; these cartoons were among the first of their kind when they debuted in the Voice in 1956. Jules Feiffer, Courtesy of Jean Albano Gallery, Chicago

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Image courtesy of Louis Nelson

Courtesy of AIGA,


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

Ro g e r C o o k graphic design I al umnus U.S. Department of Transportation Symbol Signs, 1974 In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (now AIGA) set out to create an internationally recognizable set of symbols to guide users in public places. The first set of 34 pictograms won one of the first U.S. Presidential Design Awards. Sixteen more symbols were added in 1979.

Loui s Nelson indu strial design I al u mnu s No Nonsense Panty Hose, 1972, package design In the 1970s, Nelson and his business partner were asked to come up with an identity for a new line of panty hose to be marketed as a lowerBill Kontzias, Courtesy of the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York

cost alternative to department store hosiery. He came up with the name No Nonsense, and designed its now-iconic orange packages, which remained a mainstay of drugstore and supermarket aisles for decades.

Richard F ost er architect u re I al u mn u s

Juan Do wn e y

Elmer Holmes Bobst Library,

architect u re I alumnus and faculty

The striking library, built around

Video Trans Americas, 1973, video installation

a 150-foot atrium, is among the

Downey is considered a pioneer in the world of video art,

New York City, 1972

buildings designed by Foster

and his seminal work deals with identity, the self, and

credited for reshaping the campus

politics. According to the curators of a 2011 survey of

of New York University. The 2010

Downey’s work mounted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Bronx Museum of Art, “Downey’s video installations of the ’70s and ’80s, in which he combined

AIA Guide to New York City says the building uses “classical parts in a sometimes illogical, but startling

autobiographical and anthropological approaches to the

manner . . . Inside, a great atrium

documentary genre, [remain] one of his most important

brings light and grand space to its

contributions to the field.”

users. Outside it shades the park.” Photo Credit: NYU Bobst Library


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Hagley Museum and Library

Image courtesy of WMATA

M arc Harri son indu strial design I al u mnu s DLC-X Cuisinart Food Processor, 1979 A pioneer in universal design, Harrison relied on hand-motion studies to redesign the Cuisinart food processor to meet the needs of consumers

Lanc e Wyman

with disabilities. The result was the DLC-X, which combined ease of use and attractive design. It has been featured in shows at the

Ind u strial D esign I al umnus

Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art.

Washington, D.C. Metro Map, 1976 Wyman created the boldly colored map for the 1976 inauguration of Washington’s Metro system. A pioneer in the use of icons in graphic design, Wyman was asked in 2011 to undertake the first redesign of the map to reflect changes to D.C.’s infrastructure, including the new Patti Smith, 1975 © Copyright The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Courtesy Art + Commerce

rail line to Dulles Airport.

An to n io Di S p igna Graphic D esign I al umnus and Facu lty ITC Serif Gothic Typeface, 1974 Combining gothic simplicity with Roman

Rober t M app l et horpe

elegance, Di Spigna created his legendary

Graphic art and design I al u mn u s

typeface in collaboration with Herb Lubalin.

Horses, 1975, cover photograph

Di Spigna’s work has received numerous

The musician and poet Patti Smith chose this portrait, shot by Robert Mapplethorpe

awards, and has been recognized by The Art

in the Greenwich Village apartment of his partner Samuel Wagstaff, for the cover of

Directors Club, American Institute of Graphic

her debut album, Horses. A 2002 New Yorker article called this cover “one of the

Arts, and The Type Directors Club.

most recognizable images in the iconography of rock and roll.”

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alumni view Lynn saville

Above: Brooklyn Window, 1975, silver gelatin print; Right: Number 39, 2007, chromogenic type-c print


125 anniversary pr attfolio

As a n M . F. A. s t ude nt at Pr at t, I fell in love with photography, Brooklyn, and the night. The photograph at left, taken from the window of my student apartment half a block from campus, is characteristic of the work I did while at Pratt. I remember when I finally learned to print black-and-white photographs. Some of my friends had picked up how to print all the tones of black and white easily, but for me it was a struggle. One of my professors, Calvin Albert, taught a basic sculpture course, and one day he closed the shades and had a nude model surrounded by black velvet, lit by a single

lamp. He asked us to cover our papers in black charcoal then erase the charcoal where we saw the shape of the light on the model. Bingo! I understood tonality. I was able to print better in the black-and-white darkroom immediately. The experience of the chiaroscuro, that scene with strong light and dark, continues to inspire my work. The picture below is from a series of color night photographs. It was taken in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. At first, I thought the woman who barged into my setup marred the photograph. Then I realized she was the subject!

lynn saville Lynn Saville (M.F.A. Photography ’76) is a New York-based photographer whose work has been collected in two monographs, Acquainted With the Night (Rizzoli, 1997) and Night/Shift (Random House/Moncelli, 2009).

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The Eighties D

N e w Y o r k b o u n c e s b a c k a n d P r att c e l e b r at e s i t s c e n t e n n i a l . uring the 1980s, realists and romantics flocked to New York City, ready to embrace its tarnished reputation and tattered streets. Downtown, artists injected art making with a new political urgency, answering the country’s rising conservatism with shocking imagery that transgressed the boundaries of creative expression. Uptown, the comeback of Wall Street’s financiers unleashed a torrent of spending on architecture, fashion, and fine art. Newly flush collectors set world records for art sales, with contemporary masterpieces selling for millions of dollars. But such excesses meant little to the Pratt community, where resources were still severely limited and security concerns preoccupied students, faculty, and the administration. Despite these daunting realities, students remained passionate about their studies at Pratt, and admiring of the dedicated faculty who inspired them. “Pratt was like a monastery, with a group of wonderful, committed artists/teachers, who taught us that art making wasn’t just about monetary success,” recalls Barbara Klein (M.F.A. ’83). Professor of art Gillian Jagger introduced an annual graduate symposium, which brought prominent critics, such as Clement Greenberg and Donald Kuspit, to speak at Pratt and to evaluate the work of select graduate students. And professor Al Blaustein gave new meaning to a college “all-nighter” when he organized Pratt’s first drawing marathon. One hundred art students drew for 12 straight hours, producing a wide array of graphic works, including drawings that reached over seven feet. Perhaps Pratt’s biggest advancement in the 1980s was in the field of computer arts and sciences. Pratt’s initial computer graphics concentration, taught by Professor Isaac Victor Kerlow, proved such a success that the School of Art and Design asked Kerlow to create an undergraduate degree program devoted to this exciting new means of artistic expression. Kerlow completed his master’s degree in


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Communications Design at Pratt in 1983, for which he had mapped out his own area of specialty within this new frontier of electronic art making and he was widely regarded as Pratt’s resident “computer graphics genius.” The degree program he created for Pratt was one of the first of its kind in the United States and laid the foundation for the emergence of digital arts not just at Pratt, but also in art and design colleges across the country. Pratt’s early investment in computer technology boosted not only the Institute’s art programs, but also its library science, engineering, and continuing education departments. As businesses throughout the world began to adopt computer technology, aspiring professionals turned to Pratt to obtain the needed technical and creative skills in information systems, desktop publishing, and Web design. Toward the decade’s end, as Pratt Institute approached its 100th anniversary, the campus facilities began to receive some longawaited attention. Student residences were renovated and, in 1988, Pratt opened two new buildings dedicated to freshman housing. The expanded availability of campus housing enhanced Pratt’s appeal as a residential college, as did the creation of the Newman Mall and Amphitheatre, the outdoor seating and brick-lined walkways that now delineate the campus grounds. The improvements dovetailed with the Institute’s centennial preparations. Along with a traditional alumni reunion weekend and Founder’s Day dinner, Pratt offered art exhibitions of faculty and alumni work, a lecture by Harvard law scholar Derrick Bell, a tour of Clinton Hill’s architectural gems, and a concert in the Engineering Quad featuring The Smithereens. The only cloud on the otherwise bright horizon was the decision of Richardson Pratt Jr. to retire in 1990 after serving more than 15 years as the Institute’s president. Having steered the Institute toward greater stability, his legacy laid the foundation for a new era of growth.

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was the keynote speaker for Pratt’s centennial convocation. Classes were suspended that day so that all could attend.

For the 1981 Prattonia, students created a board game, The Game of Pratt. Other Prattonias have taken the form of a time capsule and stereoscopic images with a viewfinder.

1980 Ronald Reagan elected U.S. President. / 1 9 8 2 George Lois accepts an honorary degree from Pratt Institute, saying, “After 31 years, I get to graduate!” / 1983 President Reagan signs into law a bill making Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. / 1 9 8 4 Billy Joel films the music video for his hit single, “The Longest Time,” on Pratt campus. / 1984 Apple introduces the Macintosh computer. Selling for about $2,500, the Macintosh was Apple’s first success in the personal computer market. / 1 9 8 5 Coca-Cola changes its formula and name to New Coke. The negative public reaction forces the company to revert to the original formula. / 1 9 8 6 The School of Architecture introduces concentrations in construction management, historic preservation, and facilities planning and management. / 19 8 7 Pratt Institute reaches its centennial year. / 1 9 8 9 The Berlin wall falls. East and West Germany are reunited.

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Eleanor k. baum Electrical engineer Eleanor K. Baum rose to become dean of Pratt’s School of Engineering in 1984, the first woman in U.S. history to hold such a position. The appointment was only one of many of Baum’s historic firsts. During her undergraduate studies in electrical engineering at City College of New York, Baum was the only female in her class. In 1965, she joined the Pratt faculty as an assistant professor, the first female faculty member in the School. Baum discovered her passion for teaching as a doctoral student at Polytechnic University. “It was where I first experienced the enormous satisfaction that comes from watching a student’s eyes light up,” recalled Baum in a 1984 Prattler profile. When she decided to pursue a career in academia, Pratt proved an excellent fit. “I liked teaching here . . . and being part of a school that is small, urban and diversified—not just an engineering school,” she explained. Building her career as a researcher and academic while nurturing Pratt’s engineering students, Baum served as chair of her department before being appointed as dean. After leaving Pratt in 1987, she continued to push gender boundaries when she was elected in 1995 as the first female president of the American Society for Engineering Education. She was recognized for her many professional contributions in 2007 when she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame. The cover of the Pratt Institute Centennial Bulletin for 1987-88 incorporated Pratt memorabilia, archival images, and information about Pratt traditions.

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Courtesy of Pratt Manhattan Gallery


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

Mic h a e l G r o ss F ine A rts I alu mnus No Ghosts, 1984, logo The executive producer of the 1984 blockbuster Ghostbusters, Gross also designed the No Ghosts logo. The movie ranks as number 28 on the American Film Institute’s list of America’s 100 funniest movies.

Naomi Leff Environmental Design and Architectu re I al u mna Ralph Lauren Flagship Store, New York City, 1986 In 2010, Architectural Digest named Leff one of the world’s 20 greatest designers of all time, calling the renovation of the Rhinelander Mansion into Ralph Lauren’s flagship store on Madison Avenue “her most notable achievement.”

Bob Giraldi Advertising Design I al u mnu s Beat It, 1983, video Giraldi wrote and directed the video for the best-selling album, Thriller. The video won numerous awards, including two American

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io 1 21 25 5 a an nn ni vi ve er rs sa ar ry y p pr ra at tt tf fo ol li o

Chris Walter/WireImage/Getty Images

Music Awards and seven Billboard Awards.

GHOSTBUSTERS © 1984 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

chart-topping hit off of Michael Jackson's

Bet sey Johnson F ine Arts I al u mna Posie Print Peplum Dress, 1983 In 1985, the Los Angeles Times called Betsey Johnson “the queen of rock ’n’ roll fashion.” Feminine yet edgy, this dress typifies the rocker-chick aesthetic that influenced

Copyright © MCMLXXX by Paramount Pictures Corporation. All rights reserved.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for IMG/Getty Images

1980s fashion.

Courtesy of Herb Meyers

Rober t Redford Painting I al u mn u s Ordinary People, 1980 This film, which follows an affluent family trying to return to normalcy after the accidental drowning of their oldest son, was Redford’s directorial debut. Ordinary People won multiple Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

h e r b m ey e rs ad v ertising D esign I al umnus Teddy Grahams, 1985, package design Meyers’s famed consulting firm Gerstman & Meyers designed the box to show the bite-

S t eve Horn

sized bears bursting through the package. According to Advertising Age, sales of Teddy

C ommu nications Design I al u mnu s

Grahams reached $100 million within the first

Reach Out and Touch Someone, 1984, ad campaign

nine months on the market.

Horn directed this 1984 television spot for telephone giant AT&T. The ad's emotional impact reportedly made some viewers cry. The campaign was included in Advertising

Courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center

Age’s “Top 100 Advertising Campaigns” of all time.

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit

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Photo: Vincent Ricardel


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

marc r o s e n commu nications and package design I al umnu s and facu lty KL, 1982, bottle design For Karl Lagerfeld’s signature scent, Rosen created a bottle in the shape of a modern crystal fan. The design won him the first of his many FiFi Awards, known as the Academy Awards of the fragrance industry, and Town & Country editor Nancy Tuck Gardiner called the design “a 21st-century classic.”

Bruc e Hannah I nd ustrial Design I al u mn u s and facu lty Hannah Desk System, 1986 This modular desk system for the office-furniture company Knoll won a 1990 Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) Design of Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books; jacket art and illustrations © 2010 by Felicia Bond; text © 2010 by Laura Numeroff

the Decade Award for its innovative modular units, which allowed

© Knoll, Inc.

workers to configure their own office space.

Laura Numeroff Fine Arts I al u mna If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, 1985 A New York Times bestseller, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie launched Numeroff’s beloved series, and has been included on the New York Public Library’s list of “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know.”


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M ichael Kal il Indu strial Design I al u mn u s International Space Habitation Module, 1983 A self-styled “space engineer,” Kalil pushed boundaries of art, architecture, and design, making him the National Aeronautics Space Agency’s ideal candidate to research and design the living quarters of an international space station. Kalil’s preparatory drawings for the module are in the

Courtesy of George Lois

collection of The Museum of Modern Art.

Photo: Michael Datoli, Courtesy of Kellen Design Archives, Parsons The New School for Design, New York

Georg e Loi s Advertising D esign I al u mnu s I Want My MTV, 1983, advertising campaign Lois’s ad campaign featured Mick Jagger shouting “I want my MTV!” According to Fast Company, the commercial “got thousands of kids to pester their cable operators to carry the channel,” and launched a

Luc i a D e R e spi n i s I ndu strial Design I al umna and faculty Dunkin’ Donuts, 1980, logo

© Terry Winters, Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Courtesy of Dunkin’ Donuts

new era in television programming.

DeRespinis selected the logo’s vibrant pink and orange colors— her five-year-old daughter’s favorites—and recommended the cushy lettering to suggest the appeal of a doughnut. The logo has represented the food-service chain for over twenty years.

Terry W int ers Art edu cation I al u mn u s Good Government, 1984, oil on linen Winters created the enigmatic shapes in this painting by using rags and painting knives as well as brushes. At the Whitney Museum’s 1991 solo exhibition of his work, curator Lisa Phillips interpreted his pictures as “metaphors of artistic growth and investigations of both creative and entropic processes.” The title references the famed 14th-century fresco in Siena.

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alumni view Peter kuper

A New Yorker, 2012, mixed medium on paper

Peter kuper Peter Kuper, who studied at Pratt from 1978 until 1982, is a graphic novelist and illustrator whose work has appeared in Time, The New York Times, and Mad, where he has written and drawn Spy vs. Spy since 1997. His books include an illustrated adaptation of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis (Three Rivers Press, 2003). He is currently a visiting professor at Harvard University.

In 1996, President Schutte helped spearhead efforts to remove unsightly graffiti in the local area by engaging a local youth coalition to help.

A student experiments in glazing techniques in Venice as part of a study abroad program led by History of Art and Design Professor Diana Gisolfi.

1990 The Black Alumni of Pratt is founded to identify and advance professional and scholastic opportunities for Pratt alumni and students of African and Latino descent. / 19 9 1 Introduction of the World Wide Web revolutionizes global communications. / 1 9 9 6 Pratt’s Chief Engineer Conrad Milster, and his wife, Phyllis, accept awards—including Best Cat—for Pratt cats at the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s International Cat Show. / 1 996 Pratt Institute celebrates the centennial of its landmark library building. / 1 9 9 7 Dolly the Sheep becomes the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell. / 1998 King Tusk, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus’s 14,700-pound elephant, comes to campus for a drawing event.

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John pile

Pratt acquired 144 West 14th Street to house the School of Information and Library 1 2 5 a nand n i Professional v e r s a r Studies, y p r athe t tPratt f o Manhattan lio Science, Center for Continuing Gallery, and several other programs including Construction and Facilities Management.


Interior and industrial design scholar John Pile transformed design education by developing an architecturally oriented approach that emphasized spatial design rather than surface embellishment. This ground-breaking advance set the standard for professional interior design training across the U.S. Pile, who joined the Pratt faculty in 1948, led the development of the Institute’s design history curriculum, which later became part of the History of Art and Design program. In Design: Purpose, Form and Meaning (University of Massachusetts Press, 1979), Pile recalls his frustration with designers who were dogmatic about how they wanted things done, yet could not explain their reasons. “My students were possibly more anxious than I had been to find out why, and this led me to focus on forming reasons.” Through his extensive writings, Pile disseminated his knowledge to scholars, practitioners, and students around the world. In a review of Pile’s major survey, Interior Design (Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1988), The New York Times said: “. . . the comprehensiveness and insight of the text make it a kind of bible.” Pile was known for his ability to speak extemporaneously on almost any aspect of design. “He combined wit and humor with an encyclopedic knowledge of the design field,” says Pratt Provost Peter Barna. In 1998, Pile was awarded the Distinguished Teacher Award, and his acceptance speech exemplified his dry sense of humor. After naming the nearly 60 presidents, provosts, and deans whom he had served under during his 50 years at Pratt, Pile concluded, “Administrators come and go; faculty are forever.”

The nineties N e w l e a d e r s h i p b r i n g s o pt i m i s m , s ta b i l i t y, a n d g r o w t h .


he 1990s were truly transformative years for Pratt Institute. The upswing in the country’s economic fortunes coincided with the election of New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose crusade to clean up the city and curtail crime wiped away the evidence of the previous decades’ decline. The improved quality of life was felt keenly in brownstone Brooklyn, especially in the neighborhoods surrounding Pratt. Before the Institute could take full advantage of the city’s remarkable turnaround, however, it had to make a painful choice. In December 1991, facing a $16.7 million accumulated deficit, declining enrollments, and increased competition from state universities, the Institute’s trustees voted to close the School of Engineering by 1993. Students were transferred to Polytechnic University in Brooklyn, now Polytechnic Institute of New York University. Arrangements were made for tenured faculty members to remain at Pratt, allowing for future curricular developments in the Institute’s architecture, math, and science curricula. In 1993, Thomas F. Schutte was appointed the Institute’s 11th president. Schutte, who had previously served as president at the Rhode Island School of Design and the Philadelphia College of Art (now The University of the Arts), brought new momentum and a renewed sense of optimism to Pratt. Maintaining a vision for quality and stability, and wanting to distinguish Pratt from its competition, he addressed Pratt’s financial situation and, for the first time in many decades, the Institute began to have a balanced budget. Schutte also focused on refurbishing buildings and grounds, which had suffered from years of neglect, and embarked on a sweeping master plan for the campus. Efforts included a major renovation of Memorial Hall, which created a welcoming space for speakers such as artist Kiki Smith; photographer, composer, and filmmaker Gordon Parks; artist Jacob Lawrence; poet Allen Ginsberg; and architect Philip Johnson to guest lecture on campus. The Institute also broke ground for the construction of the Stabile Hall student residence. Financed with support from 1940 engineering graduate Vincent A.

Stabile, whose $13 million dollar gift was the largest the Institute had ever received from an alumnus, the building helped complete Pratt’s transformation from a commuter to a residential campus. A devastating fire that destroyed the center section of Higgins Hall in the summer of 1996 was a minor setback to overall efforts, but the School of Architecture was able to continue operating in Higgins despite the damage. Finally, the Institute created Pratt’s Sculpture Park in 1999 to enliven the campus with a rotation of works by noted sculptors. The Pratt Sculpture Park now comprises more than 50 pieces and is the largest contemporary sculpture park in New York City. The decade also brought significant academic advances. The School of Liberal Arts and Sciences launched its first degreegranting program, which led to the B.F.A. in Writing for Publication, Performance, and Media. The School of Art and Design introduced new master’s degree programs in Arts and Cultural Management and Dance/Movement Therapy, the latter being the first program of its kind at a New York City college or university. Pratt established its existing academic partnerships with the Delaware College of Art and Design and with Munson-Williams Proctor Institute in Utica that allowed talented students from those institutions to transfer to Pratt. Further expanding artists’ professional options and recognizing the role that new technology was playing in the art world, the Institute initiated new programs in Digital Design and Interactive Media. Pratt also embarked on major technology-oriented initiatives, launching its website in 1995 and overhauling the Institute’s technology infrastructure. Efforts were made to bolster not only the number, but also the quality of enrolled students by offering more scholarships to top students. The impact of these important changes was felt both on campus and within the larger community. Enrollment grew by approximately 25 percent from roughly 3,000 students at the start of the decade to about 4,000 in 2000. The local area became a popular destination with a thriving artistic and cultural community. As 2000 approached, Pratt was fully prepared to meet the demands of the 21st century.

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Pet er Zumt hor

Credit goes here

Courtesy of Fantographics


iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty

architect u re I Alu mn u s Therme Vals, Vals, Switzerland, 1996 Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic of The New York Times, called Therme Vals spa “a maze of lofty, exquisitely proportioned volumes, with heavy, bespoke walls made of finely cut slabs of local stone fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle.” In 2009, Zumthor received the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s most prestigious award.

Dan ie l C l o w e s Ill u stration I al umnus Ghost World, 1997 Originally a serial comic, Ghost World is among the earliest graphic novels to be marketed and sold through conventional bookstores. ARTnews recognized Clowes as one of only a handful of artists to successfully navigate the boundary between fine art and comics. In 2012, the Oakland Museum of California will present “Modern Cartoonist: The Art of Daniel Clowes,” the first major survey devoted to his work. Source: Therme Vals

J o sh ua Dav is Art History and Illu stration i A lumnu s PrayStation, 2001, digital art One of the early artists to experiment with using code to make art, Davis created PrayStation as a sort of digital sketchbook to display new ideas. According to Wired, Davis “pushed JavaScript, Shockwave, and Flash beyond what was thought possible, making static Web pages spring to life . . .” but “it was Davis’s personal sites, like Courtesy of Joshua Davis Studios

PrayStation . . . that built his rock star rep.”


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© Disney • Design: Fraver

Charles Churchward graphic design I al u mnu s Vanity Fair, August 1991, cover design Churchward art directed Vanity Fair’s famous cover featuring Annie Lebowitz’s provocative photo of

ill u stration I A l umnus The Lion King, 1997, poster art Verlizzo, who designs under the name Fraver, created this bold graphic treatment for the poster of the Broadway musical The Lion King, based on the Disney animated film of the same name. Verlizzo has left an indelible mark on American theater, having created poster art for over 300 Broadway and Off-

was voted the second greatest magazine cover of the last 40 years by the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2005. With Churchward as design director, Vanity Fair won the National Magazine Award for Design in 1992. Later headline-making covers followed, including that of Cindy Crawford shaving k.d. lang. In 1994, he became design director at Vogue.

Pat St eir

Courtesy of The Richards Group

Broadway productions.

Annie Leibovitz / Vanity Fair; Copyright (c) Condé Nast. Underlying image: Annie Leibovitz/Contact originally for Vanity Fair Courtesy of the Artist.

Frank Ve r l i z z o

pregnant actress Demi Moore, which

F ine arts I al u mna Curtain Waterfall, 1991, oil on canvas Curtain Waterfall, which is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., epitomizes Steir’s 40year exploration of abstract painting. Pouring thin layers of pigment from the top of her canvases and allowing them to drip down the surface, Steir deploys a “uniquely harmonious means to maximize and master the liquidity of paint, both as a material and a signifier,”

S tan R i c h ards Adv ertising design I Alumnu s Chick-Fil-A, 1995, ad campaign This instantly recognizable billboard campaign featuring orthographically-challenged cows launched Richards’s awardwinning multimedia marketing campaign for the Atlanta-based chain. Richards is the founder of The Richards Group, which has also created memorable campaigns for Motel 6, Bridgestone, Fruit

Courtesy of Bed, Bath & Beyond

of the Loom, and many other top corporations.

Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

according to Art in America magazine.

G e ra l d G u l ot ta industrial design I alu mn u s Rondure Flatware for Dansk, 1997 Each piece in the Rondure flatware pattern is an expression of geometric purity, with knives so balanced that they stand vertically on edge, and spoons that are perfectly round. Gulotta, a master artist in ceramics and glass, created this design with minimalist perfection.

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iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


F él ix Gonzál ez-Torres photography I Alu mn u s “Untitled” (Golden), 1995, strands of beads and hanging device A shimmering curtain of gilded beads invites the viewer's both visual and tactile engagement. González-Torres, who was well known for his political activism before his early death from AIDS at age 38 transformed art making and experience into an intimate collaboration of artist and viewer. Félix González-Torres represented America posthumously at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

Photo: David Heald © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York Photo: Thorsten Monschein ©The Félix González-Torres Foundation, Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

R a l p h A ppel baum industrial design I Alu mn u s United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C., 1993 Appelbaum’s exhibition design for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was recognized with the 1997 Presidential Award for Design Excellence, an award that honors those projects that represent the highest standards of federal design in architecture, design, and engineering. The design interprets the Holocaust

Rober t H. Si egel

for the American public through artifacts and oral

architect u re I Alu mn u s

testimonies woven together with photographic

Renovation and Addition to the Solomon R. Guggenheim

and other documentary evidence.

Museum, New York City 1992 “After years of fuss and furor, the great but inhospitable Guggenheim gets a splendid overhaul,” noted Time magazine of the 1992 renovation and addition, designed by Siegel’s firm, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects.

© 2012 Ted Muehling

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Ted M uehl ing indu strial design I Alu mn u s New Shell Earrings, 1996 Muehling has been designing jewelry and decorative objects inspired by organic forms found in nature since 1976. His work is included in the collections of The Museum of Arts and Design, among others. T magazine editor Sally Singer has said: “Ted’s work is perfect. It’s rigorous and modern, but at the same time mysteriously aglow with the warmth of craftsmanship and tradition—it’s cool but never cold.”


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© Frank Trapper/Sygma/Corbis

Photo: Tom Schierlitz, Courtesy of Sagmeister Studios

Stefan Sagmei ster graphic design I A l u mnu s AIGA Detroit, 1999, lithograph For a 1999 AIGA Detroit lecture, Sagmeister had his assistant carve the details of his talk into his torso, which he described as an attempt to “visualize the pain that seems to accompany most of my design projects.” The poster Sagmeister created as a result is now in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art and the Design Museum, London.

Mar tin Landau Ill u stration I A l umnus Ed Wood, 1994 Landau won numerous awards, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe, for his performance as silent film star Bela Lugosi in Tim Burton’s cult classic film Ed Wood.

R i chard M eier architect u re I Fac u lty The Getty Center, Los Angeles, 1997 Meier’s hilltop complex unites nature and culture in a holistic conglomeration of museum, conservation center, library, scholarly center, and gardens. Upon its opening, Herbert Muschamp, architecture critic of The New York Times, called it the city’s “stupendous new castle of classical beauty.” Meier has been recognized with a gold medal from the American Institute of Architects and a Pritzker Prize.

Courtesy of Smart Design

Tuck er Viemeist er indu strial design I Alu mn u s OXO Good Grips, 1990, product design Co-founder of Smart Design, Viemeister helped launch the widely acclaimed series of OXO Good Grips kitchen tools, which have won over 150 international honors for product design, packaging, and corporate identity.

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alumni view stefan sagmeister

I s t o pp e d w o r ryi ng so m uch at Pratt. I used to lie awake at night brooding over problems that came up during the day. It kept me from sleeping, it was not enjoyable, and most importantly, I never arrived at a solution for anything—a remarkably effective way to be miserable. So I stopped. I now actively try to get my mind to concentrate on something else when I go to sleep. When my daytime worrying gets bad, I try to envision the worst-case scenario: What is absolutely the most terrible outcome possible? This often turns out to be the loss of a client or some other professional setback, which, when I think about it for a second, is not that tragic after all. It rarely means death. We created the saying for the OK Centrum in Linz, Austria, where schoolkids built the maxim out of 25,000 black and 35,000 white clothes hangers in 2007. Four hangers were bound together with wire fasteners to form a square; six of these completed squares formed a cube; and the cubes in turn formed pixels, creating the typography. Each letter stands about 10 feet high, with the entire sentence configuring a 125-foot-long block, a lacy typographic sculpture placed parallel to the building's facade on the Spittelwiese, a pedestrian zone in the center of Linz. Worrying Solves Nothing, 2007, clothes hangers


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stefan sagmeister Stefan Sagmeister (M.S. Communications Design ’89), winner of the prestigious Lucky Strike Designer Award in 2008, is an internationally celebrated graphic designer. His work is in the collection of major museums in the United States and abroad, and he was awarded a Grammy in 2005 for his cover design of the Talking Heads boxed set Once in a Lifetime.

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2000 Pratt holds its first Legends Benefit. (It was previously known as the Founder's Dinner.) / 2 0 0 1 Pratt's women’s cross-country team wins the first of five championships. / 2 0 0 3 Pratt holds its first Open Studios, inviting the public to view the works of fine arts senior and graduate students. / 2 0 0 4 Pop artist James Rosenquist is guest lecturer at the 10th annual President’s Lecture series. / 20 0 5 Prattstore opens on Myrtle Avenue. / 2 0 0 6 The Juliana Curran Terian Design Center opens. / 2008 Angela Davis, educator, writer, and activist, is named artist-in-residence by the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences. / 2 0 0 9 Pratt holds its 120th Commencement at Radio City Music Hall. / 2 0 1 0 Performer, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith delivers the Commencement address and performs at the ceremony.

Above: An aerial view shows Pratt’s campus ablaze in fall foliage, 2011. Middle: Pratt's Brooklyn campus serves as the site for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement of an initiative for city colleges and universities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, 2007; Students at work in the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center, 2010. Bottom: New York Senator Hillary Clinton speaks on health care at Pratt, 2001; Vogue Editor in Chief Anna Wintour, designer Diane von Furstenberg, and Vogue International Editor at Large Hamish Bowles at the Pratt Fashion Show, 2011; Myrtle Hall, 2011.

The 2000 A


Pratt takes the lead in a new age of socially conscious art and design. s the 21st century began, the increasing pace of technological developments and prevalence of social media gave rise to new opportunities for self expression in the form of blogs, YouTube videos, and other user-driven media platforms. At the same time, design took on a greater role in the daily lives of people everywhere. Globally, Target introduced product lines by world-class designers at affordable prices. Apple’s iPod and iPad demonstrated the power of beautiful design to attract a passionate following. The hit television show Project Runway brought the elite world of fashion design into viewers’ living rooms and Etsy gave independent designers a way to sell their creations to millions of buyers. Locally, the creativity of Pratt’s artists and designers boosted Brooklyn’s reputation as the country’s nexus of art making, design, and music. Like many Pratt alums, Matt Johnson (B.F.A. Film ’04), of the dance punk-rock duo Matt & Kim, still makes Brooklyn his home, saying: “We love being surrounded by so many creative people doing awesome things that make us want to do awesome things, too.”

p r at t p i o n e e r

THAD ZIOL K OWS K I Acclaimed writer Thad Ziolkowski is the driving force behind Pratt’s Writing Program, which he has directed since 2001. Ziolkowski joined the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences in 1997 as a writing instructor. In 1999, with the establishment of the Writing Program, he became its sole studio professor, teaching just 13 students. “It really was a one-room schoolhouse,” says novelist Samantha Hunt, whom Ziolkowski recruited to join the faculty. Once appointed director, Ziolkowski made the previous vocational focus of the curriculum more academically rigorous with the introduction of courses such as Perspectives on U.S. Literature and Word, Usage, Style. “If I didn’t teach them to be cogent discursive writers, I couldn’t sleep,” says Ziolkowski. Writing Program graduates have gone on to some of the country’s most respected M.F.A. programs. “The Writing Program has evolved in wonderfully organic ways because Thad is so well attuned to faculty, students, and currents in contemporary writing,” says Hunt. The program today enrolls almost 150 students. In addition to the amount of time and attention he devotes to his students, Ziolkowski is a role model for Pratt’s emerging writers. Originally a poet, he transitioned to prose with the publication of his memoir, On a Wave (Gove/Atlantic, 2002). Says Ziolkowski,“Pratt has allowed me to evolve without constraint.”

Recognizing the pivotal role that designers in all fields play in the world’s environmental and economic health, the Institute developed an unprecedented institutional model for sustainable-design education that introduced “green” principles and practices into all areas of the curriculum and ensured that the entire physical plant reflected Pratt’s commitment to sustainability. Pratt also established the Center for Sustainable Design Studies and Research in 2008 as an umbrella and resource to promote continued improvements. Pratt’s interdisciplinary approach to art and design education and practice recalls the mingling of the sciences, applied arts, and fine arts in the Institute’s early curriculum. The commitment was reinforced with the 2007 opening of the Juliana Curran Terian Design Center that brought four disciplines—industrial design, interior design, undergraduate communications design, and fashion design—together under one roof to foster a creative dialogue among them. Collaborations with corporations continue to further the Institute’s socially conscious interdisciplinary design activities through sponsored studios and competitions, for which students have created everything from household items made from recycled materials to hospice uniforms that promote a soothing atmosphere. A similar holistic vision inspired the architecture of the Center Section of Higgins Hall, an elegant intervention in the venerable building housing the School of Architecture. A student of the school, Keith Gratkowski told The New York Times: “The open floor plan forces people to interact, so that people stop and talk and see what people are working on.” But the boldest statement of Pratt’s commitment to sustainable—and beautiful—design is the campus’s newest structure, Myrtle Hall, which brought all of the Institute’s student services under one roof and enhanced facilities for Pratt’s digital arts program. “It’s a night-and-day difference from our old space,” said digital arts student Josh Banom. “We have a lot more classrooms that are set up really well, rooms with new computers, and more processing power that makes our projects better.” Myrtle Hall stands as a source of inspiration to students, an exemplar of responsible environmental practices, and a place for community building—fulfilling founder Charles Pratt’s original mission to “foster all that makes for right living and good citizenship.” From the community spirit that inspired the establishment of the Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, chaired by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, to the unprecedented dual degree program in digital arts and library science dedicated to preserving digital artworks and creating virtual access to artifacts—Pratt Institute’s ingenuity and creativity propels the world forward, solving problems of this century, and of centuries to come. P

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


Ik- J o o ng Kang fine arts I Alumn u s (Things I Know), 2010, aluminum tiles and paint Kang covered the entire Korean Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai Expo with the Korean alphabet in 40,000 art panels painted in the country’s traditional colors. The artist’s mosaic-like installations, which are often colossal, explore community, culture, and human interrelation through the complementary lenses of personal experience and global Courtesy of Move Collective

unity. Winner of the Special Merit Award at the 1997 Venice Biennale, Kang has exhibited in museums and public spaces around the world.

Karim Rashi d Photo: Jungyul Lee

Indu strial Design I Fac u lt y Bobble Water Bottle, 2010 Rashid’s Bobble Water Bottle, a reusable 100-percent recycled BPA- and phthalate-free plastic bottle with a colorful, changeable carbon filter, has been recognized with numerous design awards, including a 2010 Good Design Award, a 2011 Red Dot Award in the product design category, and a 2011

F r e d e r i ck R . Bent el

Edison Award in the consumer packaged goods category. The bottle is guaranteed to provide 40 gallons of impurity-free

Architect ure I al umnus

water, the equivalent of 300 single-serve bottles of water.

The Modern, New York City, 2005 Bentel's firm drew on the principles of Bauhaus design to create the formal dining room of The Museum of Modern Art. The Modern has earned Esquire’s 2005 Restaurant of the Year and a 2005 Gold Key Award the James Beard Foundation singled it out for

Photo: Edward Hueber

Outstanding Restaurant Design in 2006.

Courtesy of Ralph Pucci

for Excellence in Hospitality Design. In addition,

Kevin Walz F ine Arts I al u mnu s Pull Up Chair, 2002 Walz’s furniture designs, including this chair for Ralph Pucci International, begin with natural materials, and are notable for their fluid forms. Walz, a member in Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame and recipient of the American Academy’s prestigious Prix de Rome fellowship, began his career as a painter.

C ar l o s Zapata Architect ure I alu mn u s Soldier Field, Chicago, 2003 Zapata’s modern and innovative architectural extension of Chicago’s Soldier Field includes an asymmetrical seating bowl, a departure from conventional stadium design. The New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp named the extension one of the best building-planning projects for 2003.


125 anniversary pr attfolio

To see more iconic work by pratt alumni and faculty, visit 125.

Roxy Paine fine arts I Alu mn u s Maelstrom, 2009, stainless steel Paine created Maelstrom, a branching sculpture made of 10,000 pieces of stainless steel, for The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden in 2009. The New York Times art critic Ken Johnson called Paine “an empiricist philosopher creating visually fantastic thought-experiments that expand our assumptions about the nature of reality and the reality of nature.”

Courtesy of Sun/Hyperion Books

Barry Winiker/PhotoLibrary/Getty Images

Kad i r N e l s o n

S amu el Cochran

I llu stration I al umnus

Indu strial design I al u mn u s

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro

GROW, 2005, solar/wind panels

League Baseball, 2008

Cochran designed GROW, a leaf-like solar-energy delivery device,

We Are the Ship, a book Nelson authored and

for his senior thesis. With the help of the Pratt Design Incubator

illustrated, tells the story of the Negro League from its

for Sustainable Innovation, Cochran and his sister Teresita formed

beginnings in the 1920s through its decline. Nelson’s

SMIT to market this and other innovations. GROW is now in the

artistry in this book earned him a 2009 Coretta Scott

permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art and Forbes

King Book Award, and a Robert F. Sibert Medal from

magazine named Cochran one of the “30 under 30” for its list of

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

“tomorrow's brightest stars” in art and design.

the Association for Library Service to Children.

J e r e my S cot t Fashion Design I al u mn u s Adidas Originals, 2012, fashion collection Scott’s avant-garde designs have included one-legged pants, fast-food inspired dresses, and his current collection for Adidas. Scott, who first launched his own label in Paris in 1997, is a go-to designer for pop icons adidas Originals by Jeremy Scott, photographed by Nabil Elderkin

including Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears.

Betsy Lewi n I ll u stration I A l u mna Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, 2000 This picture book about cows who unionize was a New York Times best seller. It won several awards, including being named a 2001 Caldecott Honor Book. In a 2000 review Publishers Weekly wrote: “Betsy Lewin's bold, loose-lined watercolors set a light and easygoing mood that matches Farmer Brown's predicament, as first the cows, and then the rest of the farm animals,

begin to bang out their demands on a typewriter.” Lewin has collaborated on several books with her husband, Ted Lewin, also a highly acclaimed children’s book illustrator and Pratt alumnus.

125 anniversary pr attfolio



iconic works by pratt alumni and faculty


Annab e l l e S e l l d o rf Architectu re I alumna Neue Galerie, New York City, 2001 Regarding the renovation of the 1914 Carrère & Hastings building into the Neue Galerie, Architectural Digest noted that architect Annabelle Selldorf “transformed the interiors of this Beaux Arts mansion, imbuing them with a Modernist touch but with restraint and respect for the original decorative elements.” Selldorf was recently named to the magazine’s AD 100, a list of the most influential designers

Courtesy of Areaware

and architects in the world.

Harry A l l en Indu strial Design I al u mn u s Bank in the Form of a Pig, 2004, resin and marble Produced by casting polyester resins in highly detailed Photo: Adam Friedberg

silicone molds from a real pig that died of natural causes, Allen’s Bank in the Form of a Pig is a reality take on the classic piggy bank. Allen is an award-winning interior and industrial designer whose work is included in The Museum

© Frank Trapper/Corbis

of Modern Art’s permanent collection.

M icka l ene Thomas F ine Arts I al u mna A Little Taste Outside of Love, 2007, acrylic, enamel, and rhinestones on wood panel Eugenie Tsai, curator of the Brooklyn Museum, names this work “one of the star attractions of the museum’s contemporary galleries.” Drawing from her study of art history and the classical genres of portraiture, landscape, and still life, Thomas introduces a complex vision of what it means to be a woman and expands common definitions of beauty.

Mic h a e l D i C o m o Br e tt P urma l Comp u ter G raphics I al umnus Avatar, 2009, digital effects DiComo was the digital production supervisor and Purmal aided in the animation efforts for James Cameron’s 2009 science-fiction epic, which was lauded for its stunning visuals. Avatar won Oscars for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects at the 82nd Academy Awards.


125 anniversary pr attfolio

© Mickalene Thomas and Mickalene Thomas Studio, Inc., Courtesy of the artist, Rhona Hoffman Gallery, and Brooklyn Museum

D igital A rts I alumnus

Courtesy of Francine Monaco

© Courtesy of Abrams Books

F rancine M onaco Interior Design I Fac u lty La Prairie Silver Rain Spa, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, 2007 This 20,000-square-foot haven won the 2007 International Interior Design Association’s annual design competition and a 2007 Best Spa Award from Boutique Design magazine. “The experience begins in the foyer,” said Interior Design magazine, “where guests walking across the cast-glass floor hear water running beneath their feet . . .” and “waiting and changing areas are infused with serene luxury.” Monaco was inducted into the Interior Design Hall of Fame in 2007.

S w o o n ( C a l e d o n i a C urry ) Painting I alu mna Untitled, 2005, woodblock print on mylar Ossian Ward, visual arts editor for Time Out London, said of street artist Swoon’s ephemeral installations: “There’s an appropriately fleeting weightlessness to Swoon’s short-lived street prints and delicate filigree paste-ups that make their inevitable decay and ruin all the more poignant.”

P et er Shelt on Courtesy of the National Park Service

Architectu re I Alu mn u s North Sea Residence, Southampton, New York, 2007 This striking seaside house was named by Interior Design magazine as a 2007 Best of Year. An Architectural Digest article says of the house “the cool, calmly composed façade alludes to barn doors and drawbridges. It even lifts up its hem a little to reveal the hint of a clam bar at a local beach club under a sun visor. Something old tucked under something new.”

Ro dney L É o n Architectu re I alumnus African Burial Ground Memorial, New York City, 2007 The African Burial Ground Memorial honors the hundreds of slaves and other African-Americans who were found buried in unmarked graves on site, as well as the more than 20,000 enslaved Africans laid to rest in lower Manhattan in the 17th and 18th centuries. The New York Sun wrote: “It is a moving thing to see this site start to rivet and inspire visitors with a story that cannot be told was selected from 61 proposals in a national competition.

Michael Moran/OTTO

too often or in too much detail or for too many generations.” Léon's design

125 anniversary pr attfolio


ann i v e rsary KICKOFF 2 0 1 1 Th e Institute kicked off its 1 2 5 t h A n n i ve rsa ry f e sti vi ti e s o n O cto be r 1, 2 011, with a weekend of acti vi ti e s o n th e B ro o k ly n ca mp u s f o r P r at t alumni, pa re n ts, stu de n ts, a n d f ri e n ds.

Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and interior design alumna Hiroko Nakamoto at the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Grand Walk. Nakamoto's generosity supported improvements to Grand Walk, the Willoughby Avenue Gate, and Main Security Booth.

Rebecca Travis (Communications Design, Class of 2015) with her parents, Jack and Lisa Travis, were among the many Pratt families who took part in the festivities.

Pratt Board Chair Mike Pratt, President Thomas F. Schutte, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who presented Pratt with a proclamation marking Saturday, October 1, 2011, as “Pratt Institute 125th Anniversary Celebration Day in Brooklyn, U.S.A.�

Guests enjoyed dancing in the Celebration Tent throughout the night.

Celebrating 125 years

Pratt alumni celebrating their 50th+ reunion gathered outside of Higgins Hall.

100 years ago On June 15, 1912, Pratt Institute marked the 25th anniversary of its founding with a dinner at the nearby 23rd Regiment Armory on Bedford and Atlantic avenues in Brooklyn. Approximately 2,000 people attended the event, which was preceded by an exhibition of student work. Among the speakers that evening was Helen Shreve Wright,

Photos: Kevin Wick and Jon Macapodi

the first graduate of Pratt’s art school.

Pratt Trustee Bruce M. Newman (B.F.A Interior Design ’53) with the sculptural clock that he designed and donated to Pratt in honor of the Institute’s 125th anniversary. A clock dedication ceremony was held during the Kickoff.

125 anniversary pr attfolio


The M e m o ry Pro j ect Pr att ’s anniv er sary Memory Pr oject i n vi te s a lu mn i to sh a re th e i r mo st vi vi d ca m p u s m e m o r i e s and ph otos. Her e ar e just a few su bmi ssi o n s sh o wi n g li f e at P r att ove r t he pas t c e n t u ry.

Members of the Pratt Alumni Club of Greater Hartford gathered in 1969. (Photo: Submitted by Joseph F. Pierz, B. Arch. ’64)

Albert E. Miller (Architecture, 1907) (left) in his dorm room. At the time he attended Pratt, the School of Architecture was a two-year program and cost $25 per year. (Photo: Submitted by Miller’s grandson, Todd A. Johnson, B. Arch. ’81)

Cesar Santalo (B.F.A. Drawing ’95) with a group of his students in Saturday Art School, a Pratt Art and Design Education program that offers art instruction to Brooklyn children and teens. (Photo: Submitted by Cesar Santalo) Graduate Communications and Package Design Professor Alisa Zamir (M.S. Package Design ’71 )(center in black) with her students following a design critique in 1979. (Photo: Submitted by Alisa Zamir)


125 anniversary pr attfolio

Celebrating 125 years

John G. Cooper’s class for electricians for the U.S. Navy in WWI: He served aboard the USS K-8 submarine (SS-39) and USS Cheyenne (submarine tender), both of which patrolled the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic seaboard. (Photo: Submitted by Cooper’s grandson, Gary E. Light)

Randi Wolf (M.S. Communications Design ’80) with her parents at Commencement. (Photo: Submitted by Randi Wolf)

Rowena Reed critiquing Katharine L. McKenna’s Outdoor Sanctuary sketches in Space Class, spring 1982. (Photo: Submitted by Katharine L. McKenna, M.I.D. ’84)

Having fun in the Willoughby Avenue dormitories, circa 1970: Tom Nikosey (B.F.A. Communications Design ’72), Sharon Klein (B.F.A. Communications Design ’72, M.S. ’99), Bruce Zahor (B.F.A. Communications Design ’72), and Eliot Schulman (B.F.A. Communications Design ’72). (Photo: Submitted by Bruce Zahor)

To see more photos and to submit y o u r o w n t o P r at t ’ s M e m o r y P r o j e c t, v i s i t w w w. p r at t. e d u / 1 2 5 .

Celebrating 125 years

yo u’re i n v i t e d Up c o m i n g P r at t i n s t i t u t e e v e n t s

Pratt Fashion Show + Cocktail Benefit

Pratt Show

April 26, 2012 Honoring Fern Mallis Award presentation by Calvin Klein

May 7–10, 2012

Alumni Day and 25 th and 50 th + Reunions

125 th Anniversary Gala

September 29, 2012

October 15, 2012

L E G END S 2 0 1 1 More than 300 guests attended Legends 2011, Pratt Institute's largest annual scholarship benefit, at 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan on November 1, 2011. 2011 HONOREES: LAURIE ANDERSON, JUAN MONTOYA, AND WILLIAM WEGMAN “ W h at a w o n d e r f u l t i m e i t i s t o b e a n a r t i s t a n d m a k e a r t i n t h i s pa r t i c u l a r w o r l d .” –Laurie Anderson

Marjorie Kuhn and Bridget Foley

Margaret Russell and Juan Montoya

“This evening is about recognizing artistic a n d d e s i g n ta l e n t, a n d s u pp o r t i n g t h e ta l e n t o f t h e f u t u r e .” –Margaret Russell E d i t o r i n C h i e f, A r c h i t e c t u r a l D i g e s t

“ R e c e i v i n g t h e P r at t L e g e n d s A w a r d i s l i k e r e c e i v i n g t h e A c a d e m y A w a r d .” –J u a n M o n t o ya I n t e r i o r D e s i g n e r, F u r n i t u r e D e s i g n e r, a n d A r t i s t


125 anniversary pr attfolio

Laurie Anderson

Agnes Gund and William Wegman

Photos: © Josh W Photography

Artist and Musician


U.S. News & World Report's Guide to America's Best Graduate Schools national rankings for Pratt Institute (by program):










2011 DesignIntelligence industry survey rankings: ST

graduate interior design



graduate INDUSTRIAL design


1 7




UNDERgraduate interior design





UNDERgraduate INDUSTRIAL design

pratt pride at 125

MEDIA COVERAGE SURVEY RANKS PRATT NUMBER ONE AMONG COLLEGES OF ART AND DESIGN (#11 NATIONWIDE) global language monitor's trendtopper mediabuzztm rankings


beyond the gates

Current partners include such Fortune 500 companies as Colgate-Palmolive, L'Oréal, and Sanofi. Design solutions resulting from these collaborations potentially affect over a billion people worldwide.

pratt has 4,700 students from 48 states and 70 countries Alumni live in more than 100 countries

breadth and depth pratt has 22 undergraduate DEGREE PROGRAMS and 25 master's degree PROGRAMS

Pratt NAMED one of the country's top green colleges IN 2010 AND 2011 the Princeton Review

T H E CA M P US Pratt's Sculpture Park named one of the top 10 college and university art collections in the country Public Art Review, 1996 Pratt is the only New York City college of art and design with an enclosed campus and professional foundry.

DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? DID YOU KNOW? • Pratt is home to the first fashion design program in the U.S. and the first school of library and information science in North America. • FOUR Alumni and Faculty were included in Architectural Digest's prestigious AD 100 list, published in January 2012. • 2011 Art Basel Miami Beach, the most prestigious art show in the Americas, showcased work by 17 Pratt alumni. • Character Pam Beesly on NBC's hit TV show The Office was scripted to study graphic design at Pratt during the show's 4th and 5th seasons. The Office is watched by millions of viewers weekly. • Pratt students tutor 4,000 children in reading and math each year as part of the America Reads/Counts program. • ESTABLISHED IN 1897, SATURDAY ART SCHOOL PROVIDES ART EDUCATION TO MORE THAN 300 CHILDREN (AGES 3–18) ANNUALLY. • The Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable Innovation has supported the creation of over 30 businesses since 2002.



VISIT SEE MORE ICONIC WORK BY PRATT ALUMNI AND FACULTY nominate work YOU LOVE Deadline for nominations: may 31, 2012

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITEs voting begins: june 1, 2012

The 125 works with the most votes will appear in a special exhibition at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in November 2012.


125 anniversary pr attfolio

VISIT SEE MORE ICONIC WORK BY PRATT ALUMNI AND FACULTY nominate work YOU LOVE Deadline for nominations: may 31, 2012

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITEs voting begins: june 1, 2012

The 125 works with the most votes will appear in a special exhibition at Pratt Manhattan Gallery in November 2012.


125 anniversary pr attfolio

125 anniversary pr attfolio

1 01

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