The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

October 7, 2012

New York’s Pratt marks 125 years with 125 icons

NEW YORK — What do such disparate cultural icons as the Chrysler Building, the Dunkin’ Donuts logo and Big Bird have in common?

They were all created by alumni of New York’s Pratt Institute. To mark its 125th birthday, the renowned college of art, design and architecture is showing off 125 world-famous designs by its students and faculty throughout the years. The private Brooklyn institution is kicking off the celebration with a gala Oct. 15 at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel, designed in 1929 by — who else — another Pratt alumnus.

The school was founded on Oct. 17, 1887, by businessman and philanthropist Charles Pratt, whose petroleum refinery merged with Standard Oil. Fifteen hundred students were enrolled at the end of the first year. Today, 4,700 undergraduate and graduate students studying painting, print-making, sculpture, illustration, architecture and industrial, interior and graphic designs attend the 25-acre campus that has grown to include 27 buildings in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan.

Pratt’s vision was to create an “institution that would broadly educate people to be producers and creators in society,” who could also make a living at their professions, said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte, who has led the school for nearly 20 years.  

The 125 designs will be on public view Nov. 30-Jan. 19 at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery. Among the visionaries they represent are leading American painters Ellsworth Kelly and Arthur Wesley Dow, writer and satirical cartoonist Jules Feiffer, Heisman Memorial Trophy sculptor Frank Eliscu and Scrabble inventor Alfred Mosher Butts.

Below are 10 of the designs that have become part of our cultural psyche:

* 1955 Two-seater Ford Motor Thunderbird. Industrial design alumnus William Boyer was the lead designer on this car, the first luxury car to be manufactured in the United States. More than two million models have been sold.

* The Dunkin’ Donuts logo. Lucia DeRespinis, an alumna and faculty member of the school’s industrial design department, came up with the logo in 1980 using her 5-year-old daughter’s favorite colors — pink and orange. She suggested the cushy-looking font to evoke a doughnut.

* The Waldorf-Astoria hotel. The New York City art deco landmark was designed in 1929 by Lloyd Morgan.

* Betsy Johnson. The fashion designer was a fine arts major at Pratt. She is celebrated for her sexy and whimsical silhouettes.

* The Glass House. The national historic landmark was designed by architect and Pratt faculty member Philip Johnson., known for his innovative use of materials and seamless integration into the landscape. The Glass House, built in 1949, was Johnson’s residence in New Canaan, Conn. It’s considered one of the most famous houses in the country.

* Big Bird. Kermit Love, a fine arts faculty member, was a costume designer who designed, developed and constructed the Sesame Street character in 1969. He also helped design several of the television show’s other lovable characters including Mr. Snuffleupagus, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.

* The Chrysler Building. The art deco landmark was designed by architect William Van Alen. Built in 1930, it’s lauded for its tapering spire and curvilinear lines. It’s considered one of New York City’s most beautiful skyscrapers.

* RCA television. David Sarnoff, an engineering alumnus, was president of RCA and an early investor in the development of television when this set was designed. It was first introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair.

* Shrek animation characters. Tim Cheung, a computer graphics alumnus, led the computer-animation team in 2001 that earned “Shrek” an Academy Award for best animated feature. Former digital arts department faculty member Rob O’Neill worked on the digital character development of the film’s hit sequel, “Shrek 2.”

* U.S. Department of Transportation Symbol Signs, 1974. The American Institute of Graphic Arts asked graphic design alumnus Roger Cook and his partner Don Shanosky to design a set of 34 internationally recognizable pictograms that were ultimately adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation to guide users of public spaces. Cook received the Presidential Award for Design Excellence in 1984 for the signage. It part of the permanent collection of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Deep-sea octopus goes without food for 4.5 years while watching eggs

    Talk about extreme parenting: Scientists have found a deep-sea octopus mama that faithfully guards the same clutch of eggs for an incredible 4 1/2 years — a record.

    July 31, 2014

  • Study finds 35 percent in U.S. facing debt collectors

    More than 35 percent of Americans have debts and unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies, according to a study released Tuesday by the Urban Institute.

    July 30, 2014

  • U.S. blasts Israel for Kerry criticism

    The Obama administration pushed back strongly Monday at a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a “misinformation campaign” against the top American diplomat.

    July 29, 2014

  • Outlook on Medicare finances improves

    Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.

    July 29, 2014

  • Plan to simplify 2015 health renewals may backfire

    If you have health insurance on your job, you probably don’t give much thought to each year’s renewal. But make the same assumption in one of the new health law plans, and it could lead to costly surprises.

    July 28, 2014

  • Hospital shooting suspect charged with murder

    A man accused of fatally shooting his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex before the doctor returned fire has been charged with murder.

    July 28, 2014

  • Man seeks video of Oklahoma City bombing

    One man’s quest to explain his brother’s mysterious jail cell death 19 years ago has rekindled long-dormant questions about whether others were involved in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.

    July 28, 2014

  • Bill in Congress to help veterans with PTSD

    A group of lawmakers have joined together to help veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Post Traumatic Brain Injury (PTBI) and other war injuries get speedy medical treatment — and avoid Veteran’s Administration bureaucracy and Department of Defense lack of accountability.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine

    Stepping up pressure on Moscow, the U.S. on Sunday released satellite images it says show that rockets have been fired from Russia into neighboring eastern Ukraine and that heavy artillery for separatists also has crossed the border.

    July 28, 2014

  • U.S. says Russia is firing across border into Ukraine

    Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.

    July 25, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video