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Pratt celebrates famous design alumni for 125th anniversary
Oct 11, 2012

It's only appropriate that the kick-off gala for Pratt Institute's 125th anniversary week be held at New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel—a building designed in 1929 by Pratt alumnus Lloyd Morgan (Architecture 1911). The event, on Monday, October 15, will celebrate Pratt’s rich history and roster of alumni and faculty.

“125 Icons” featuring the most iconic works by Pratt alumni and faculty will be unveiled at the event, then on view at Pratt Manhattan Gallery this November through January 2013.
The ceremony will honor the Pratt Family; Maximilian Josef Riedel, CEO of Riedel Crystal of North America; Julie Taymor, director of theater, opera, and film; and Kehinde Wiley, artist and contemporary portrait painter.
In addition to the gala, Pratt will be celebrated in a half-hour long documentary titled “Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute,” which will air Tuesday, October 16 from 10:30-11:00 PM on WLIW21 and Thursday, October 18from 8:30-9 PM on WNET13. The program, which is hosted by former Pratt student and celebrated writer Pete Hamill, will go inside the college to discover its storied history and explore its architectural and cultural impact.
When Pratt opened its doors in 1887, Charles Pratt wanted to give artisans an opportunity to learn their trade and make a living from it. That basic principle of applied science, which was considered a revolutionary philosophy at the time, continues to influence the curriculum at Pratt.
   
Throughout its history, Pratt Institute alumni and faculty have produced works of art, architecture, and design that changed the world. New York’s Chrysler Building (William van Alen), covers of Esquire magazine (Geroge Lois), Sesame Street’s beloved Big Bird (Kermit Love), Scrabble (Alfred Mosher Butts), OXO Good Grips (Tucker Viemeister), and the Dunkin Doughnuts logo (Lucia Derespinis) are just a few of the iconic designs created by Pratt alumni. The top 125 works from this gallery will be on view in the Pratt Manhattan gallery exhibition in November.
The 125th Gala Honorary Committee comprises esteemed architects, designers, politicians, media influencers, and artists including: Mario Buatta ’90 (Hon.), Christo ’94 (Hon.), Amanda Dameron, Wendy Goodman, Helmut Jahn, Ellsworth Kelly ’44, Michael Kimmelman, Daniel Libeskind ’10 (Hon.), George Lois ’52, George Lucas, Fern Mallis, James McBride ’05 (Hon.), Mary McFadden, Richard Meier ’99 (Hon.), Mark Morris ’03 (Hon.), Beverly Pepper ’42, Elizabeth Peyton, Sylvia Plachy ’65, Martin Puryear ‘90 (Hon.), Karim Rashid, Narciso Rodriguez, Margaret Russell, Stefan Sagmeister ’89, The Honorable Charles E. Schumer, Annabelle Selldorf ’85, Neal Shapiro, Danny Simmons, Pat Steir ’62, Twyla Tharp, Mickalene Thomas ’00, Carmen Marc Valvo, Laura Walker, William Wegman and Christine Burgin.
Gala Chairs include CulinArt, Young Ho Kim ’71, James and Marjorie Kuhn, Sondra and David S. Mack, Bruce M. Newman ’53 and Judith Newman, and David and Jane Walentas. “Hon.” Indicates an honorary degree from Pratt and class year indicates that the person is a Pratt graduate.
“Pratt’s 125th anniversary celebration commemorates Pratt’s extraordinary history of achievement and its reputation as one of the world’s most preeminent colleges of art and design,” said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. “We are excited to build upon Pratt’s legacy of success and innovation,” he added.
Tickets are required and proceeds will benefit student scholarships, thus enabling aspiring artists, designers, and scholars to pursue and achieve a Pratt education. Gala attendees are being encouraged to wear gold and black attire in honor of Pratt’s school colors of cadmium yellow and black. The gala will begin with cocktails at 6 PM, which will be followed by a 7 PM seated dinner and ceremony.

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