Pratt Institute at 125

written by:
December 3, 2012

Last week marked the opening of a new Pratt Institute exhibition celebrating 125 iconic works of art and design made by the school's alumni and faculty over the last 125 years. At turns suprising and educational, the anniversary show is a snapshot of Pratt's sprawling academic influence and includes everyone from artist Eva Hesse (who majored in advertising design) to graphic designer Robert Brownjohn, Chrysler Building architect William Van Alen, photographer and Steiglitz pal Gertrude Kasebier, and logo designer Paul Rand—not to mention the engineer who designed Charles Lindbergh's airplane. Take a walk through design history as we present a few of the works on display. 

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  Charles Pollock (whose newest design in 40 years we profiled back in June) designed his Executive office chair for Knoll in 1963.

    Charles Pollock (whose newest design in 40 years we profiled back in June) designed his Executive office chair for Knoll in 1963.

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  This groundbreaking magazine cover, from 1968, is by George Lois, an alumnus of Pratt's advertising design program. Fun fact: It was voted the "third best magazine cover of the last 40 years" by the members of the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2005.

    This groundbreaking magazine cover, from 1968, is by George Lois, an alumnus of Pratt's advertising design program. Fun fact: It was voted the "third best magazine cover of the last 40 years" by the members of the American Society of Magazine Editors in 2005.

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  Bet you didn't know that Pritzker-Prize winning architect Peter Zumthor studied at Pratt as an exchange student in 1966! Pictured here is one of the architect's most celebrated works, the spa at Therme Vals in Switzerland.

    Bet you didn't know that Pritzker-Prize winning architect Peter Zumthor studied at Pratt as an exchange student in 1966! Pictured here is one of the architect's most celebrated works, the spa at Therme Vals in Switzerland.

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  Pratt painting alumnus and influential abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly painted Blue Green Yellow Orange Red in 1966. At the time, Times critic John Russell called it the kind of "big American painting" people travel to New York to see.

    Pratt painting alumnus and influential abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly painted Blue Green Yellow Orange Red in 1966. At the time, Times critic John Russell called it the kind of "big American painting" people travel to New York to see.

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  The American Institute of Graphic Arts (now AIGA) asked Pratt 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. The pictograms now reside in the permanent collection at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

    The American Institute of Graphic Arts (now AIGA) asked Pratt 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. The pictograms now reside in the permanent collection at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

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  The interior of Neue Galerie, located inside a 1914 Carrere & Hastings building on Museum Mile, was transformed by architect Annabelle Selldorf in 2001.

    The interior of Neue Galerie, located inside a 1914 Carrere & Hastings building on Museum Mile, was transformed by architect Annabelle Selldorf in 2001.

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  Installation shot of Pratt's Top 125 Icons gallery on 14th Street. The exhibition will be open through January 19, 2013.

    Installation shot of Pratt's Top 125 Icons gallery on 14th Street. The exhibition will be open through January 19, 2013.

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  Industrial designer Lucia DeRespinis attended Pratt at the same time as Charles Pollock; they later both worked in George Nelson's legendary studio. She still teaches young design minds at Pratt, who may or may not know she came up with Dunkin' Donuts logo and color scheme in the late 1970s.

    Industrial designer Lucia DeRespinis attended Pratt at the same time as Charles Pollock; they later both worked in George Nelson's legendary studio. She still teaches young design minds at Pratt, who may or may not know she came up with Dunkin' Donuts logo and color scheme in the late 1970s.

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  A pioneer in universal design, Pratt industrial design alumnus Marc Harrison "relied on hand-motion studies to redesign the Cuisinart food processor to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities." Other Pratt graduates, like Paul Mulhauser who worked on the OXO Good Grips line, have also ventured into the growing field of universal design.

    A pioneer in universal design, Pratt industrial design alumnus Marc Harrison "relied on hand-motion studies to redesign the Cuisinart food processor to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities." Other Pratt graduates, like Paul Mulhauser who worked on the OXO Good Grips line, have also ventured into the growing field of universal design.

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  Controversial, envelope-pushing... Fulbright scholar? Graphic design savant Stefan Sagmeister received the scholarship to study at Pratt after finishing his undergraduate degree in Vienna. Here, Sagmeister had an "assistant carve the details of his talk [at the AIGA Detroit] into his torso" and used it on the promotional poster.

    Controversial, envelope-pushing... Fulbright scholar? Graphic design savant Stefan Sagmeister received the scholarship to study at Pratt after finishing his undergraduate degree in Vienna. Here, Sagmeister had an "assistant carve the details of his talk [at the AIGA Detroit] into his torso" and used it on the promotional poster.

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  Originally a serial comic, Daniel Clowes's Ghost World was one of the first graphic novels sold widely and was later made into a feature film.

    Originally a serial comic, Daniel Clowes's Ghost World was one of the first graphic novels sold widely and was later made into a feature film.

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  Karim Rashid has taught in Pratt's Industrial Design program. Here, his 2010 "bobble" water bottle design for Move Collective.

    Karim Rashid has taught in Pratt's Industrial Design program. Here, his 2010 "bobble" water bottle design for Move Collective.

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  More from the gallery hosting 125 Icons: A Celebration of Works by Pratt Alumni and Faculty 1887-2012.

    More from the gallery hosting 125 Icons: A Celebration of Works by Pratt Alumni and Faculty 1887-2012.

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