In honor of the Institute's 125th anniversary, New York's public television station will present a documentary all about Pratt, celebrating the Institute's 125 years of educating art and design innovators.
Hosted by Pratt alumnus and celebrated writer Pete Hamill, Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute premieres Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 7 PM (ET) on WLIW21 and Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:30 PM (ET) on THIRTEEN.
Those tuning in to watch on WNET should tune to channel 13, or to watch it in high definition tune to (depending on your cable provider): Cablevision 713, Time Warner 713, Comcast NJ 240, Comcast Connecticut 237, RCN 613, Verizon Fios 513, Direct TV 13, and Dishnet 13. Those watching on WLIW21 should tune to channel 21 on all systems.
After broadcast, the program will be available to national audiences at thirteen.org/treasures-of-ny. The program will also rebroadcast in October 2012.
This episode of Treasures of New York goes inside Pratt to discover its vibrant Brooklyn history through the eyes of the two men who built it: industrialist Charles Pratt, who founded the school in 1887, and current president Dr. Thomas F. Schutte, who has been articulating Pratt’s vision since he became the school’s president in 1993. In the past decade, the college has grown to become a pillar of Brooklyn’s cultural renaissance and a vital asset to its surrounding communities. One of the defining moments in the film shows how Schutte spearheaded the revitalization of Pratt’s nearby neighborhoods, particularly on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn.
The film explores Pratt’s architectural and cultural impact with the following interviewees: Schutte; Board Chair Mike Pratt; Paola Antonelli, curator of architecture and design at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Architectural Digest; Francis Morrone, architectural historian; and Rob Walsh, commissioner of small businesses in New York.
A highlight of the film comes from artist and Pratt alumna Mickalene Thomas, whose work is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and MoMA. She shares personal insight from the perspective of having been both a student and a professor at Pratt, and tells of how Pratt inspires her to succeed in the art world.
The film will also look at many products designed by alumni and faculty whose works have become part of the general lexicon of industrial design. Eva Zeisel’s Museum Dinnerware, Morison S. Cousins’ Promax Compact Hairdryer, and Karim Rashid’s reusable Bobble Water Bottle are all part of the archive of the MoMA. Pratt also developed versatile artistic sensibilities in its students, resulting in work such as Pamela Colman Smith’s The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck and Jeremy Scott’s avant-garde fashion. Treasures of New York: Pratt Institute is a production of the Treasures of New York series produced by WLIW21 in association with WNET, the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21, New York’s public television stations and operator of NJTV. The series' executive producer is Diane Masciale; producer is Stacey Reiss; associate producer is Rebecca Fasanello; executive-in-charge of production is John Servidio.
Treasures of New York explores New York’s cultural heritage by spotlighting its points of interest, distinguished establishments, and notable figures.
Text: Amy Aronoff