Pratt Institute

The Memory Project

Pratt's history spans some of the most important events of the past 125 years—events that have shaped our culture and continue to influence society. Now, we're turning to you to help us capture and preserve the individual stories and memories that are integral to Pratt’s legacy. The Institute is inviting students, alumni, faculty, and former faculty to share compelling memories and images of Pratt Institute through the decades.

Please complete the form below to post your memory to this page. Please note that all submissions will be reviewed by the Pratt 125th Anniversary editorial team for possible inclusion in Institute publications, the Pratt Institute Archives, and Recall, the installation by artist Jean Shin.

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Listen to public-radio talk show host Leonard Lopate recall a memory from his time at Pratt.

Tell Us Your Story

Do you have a story to tell about your time at Pratt? Use our Memory Project phone line to record your story and share it with other members of the extended Pratt community. Just click the button above and our system will allow you instantly to record your message. (Please note, you must be near a cell phone or landline when you click the button.) When leaving your story, make sure to give your name and Pratt affiliation (e.g., Class of 1968, Architecture), and speak clearly. Thank you for being part of the Pratt Memory Project!

your memories

Maxine Yalovitz-Blankenship

MFA 1969

Moving from the Deep South (Atlanta College of Art BFA) to Greenwich Village, changing trains at the Hoyt-Schermerhorn subway station for daily arrival at my destination: 19 Willoughby Street was the beginning of the most fruitful and happiest of art-life experiences. I cherish painting friends from that time. We are still connected.
The two most influential professors for me at Pratt were Robert Mallary and George McNeil. Robert Mallary’s principles and elements of organization may be applied to the graphic arts, painting, sculpture and architecture. Mallary’s Art Structure was the key to the class I taught at Georgia State University. It was unique at that time.
George McNeil was my painting professor. His humanitarian approach to art was a gift … the ticket to my development as a painter. He gave me the courage to know that being an Expressionist had merit when the current trend of the 60’s was Minimalism. He spoke of emotion and important principles of art structure, as well; he introduced color, light and all the elements used in the act of creating a work of art. Light through color was McNeil’s most valuable contribution to my painting.
In the years of art and life experiences since graduating from Pratt my painting has taken varied turns in many series of works. In 1973 my family and I relocated to Massachusetts where I have exhibited in over 100 group and 26 solo exhibitions.

Gail Grotheer Becker

Father: graduated approximately 1939 or 40 in Commercial Art

My Father, Frederick Martin Grotheer attended and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1939 or 1940, I believe.  He remembered his class was over another business (laundry or restaurant).  He went into the Marines at the beginning of WWII as a Relief Mapper and was in the first wave at Guadacanal as well as other significant campaigns during the war.  He just missed his moment of fame when asked if he wanted to help raise the flag at Iwo Jima and declined..

After the war he designed Logos or large bag companies throughout the nation, some of which are still in use today. He was one of the last persons able to design as well as create by hand the rubber plates used in many manufacturing plants to imprint the logo onto their company containers.

In later years (prior to his death at 90) he was finally able to do the kind of art he loved (landscaping) and sold them to many tourist in Savannah Georgia, his beloved home.

Charles Moscarillo, son of Louise (Gunnarson ) Moscarillo who graduated from Pratt in 1928

My mother, Louise (Gunnarson) M0scarillo, graduated from Pratt in 1928 where she studied dress making and design. She told me she completed all of her projects six weeks before graduation and was permitted to work in the alteration department at the Lord & Taylor store in Manhattan before returning to Pratt for graduation.  After a short stay in New York she returned to Washington, Connecticut and opened a dress making studio where she enjoyed a very successful business.  She closed her shop in the summer of 1935 to marry my father, Charles Moscarrillo of Torrington, Connecticut, and moved to Torrington.  She died on September 19, 1981.  I have a Pratt banner that she probably made as a class project, the 1928 Pratt Yearbook and her sketch book consisting of dresses, suits, coats and accessories popular in the ‘20’s.  She always made the clothing for me and my sister from infancy until our early days in elementary school.  She had fond memories of her time at Pratt.

Thomas La Padula

Adjunct Professor, ComD ug

uth K. Guzik
January 4, 1932 - May 21, 2011
Cold Spring Harbor, New York
Former ComD Professor Ruth K. Guzik passed away on May 21, 2011. Ruth, a former Pratt alumna, began teaching at Pratt in the early sixties. She was a full time professor in the undergraduate Communications Design department, from 1965 until 1998, and an Adjunct Professor with a CCE from 1998 until her retirement in 2001. She taught Type Design to legions of Pratt students over the years.
A typographer with an exceptional skill set, Ruth designed the logos of Fortune 500 companies in the 60’s and 70’s. A typical example of her work was the redesign of the Mountain Dew brand for PepsiCo. As a teacher she was stern but fair, a straight shooter and her students and fellow faculty loved her for it. Ruth’s students always left her class with a better understanding of typography. When all others turned to technology, Ruth, even in the age of digital technology, pushed for the continued employ of hand skills. She often said, “good type is just good drawing.”
As one former Pratt alumnus stated,  “I never had the chance to take her class, and my life is lesser for it.”

Thomas La Padula
Thomas La Padula

Barbara Charton

MS. Chem.67; MLS. 74. Adj. Prof.Math&Sci;. 2001-

John O’Gorman was chair of the Chem.Dept [1950s-60s] He accepted a gift of really messy partly oxidized sodium from Florence Tabor [head of School of Home Econ]. He tried and couldn’t clean it up resulting in a series of explosions coming from the 3rd floor Research Lab. Giving up on it he dumped this very reactive element in sewers around Pratt. Manhole covers were flying!  Windows shook!. The Navy SP was all over the place suspecting sabotage since the Navy Yard was still in business and off-limits.  O’Goo’s singed hair and lack of eyebrows and eyelashes were a dead giveaway. The days before EPA and regulation of dangerous substances were exciting!

Linda

I did not attend Pratt, however my Aunt Fran Reed did in the 1950’s. It was there that she met my Uncle Bob and a few years later they got maried. His name was Robert John Seitas. They met because the class was paired up alphabetically, the letter R followed by S. It was true fate. Here is a picture of my Aunt at Pratt. If anyone out there might have had relatives who attended around this time or know anyone in this photo, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you!

Linda
Linda

anthony menichelli

BFA

living in the pratt barracks was a shock after we were told that housing was provided for freshmen.
we did meet more classmates from other schools though. which widened our outlook on the scope of pratts diversity.
ii did meet my lifelong friend Frank MULLINS WHO WENT ON TO BECOME ONE OF THE .
TOP ILLUSTRATORS FOR SPORTS ILL. AND SAT. EVE. POST HE IS STILL NOT.  GIVEN HIS RECOGNITION AT PRATT THAT HE DESERVES

Roger Muller

BFA Photography

Prof Mary Bucley once called my work “visual torture”. These were the first words she had said to me in a crit, and I was excited to have been finally noticed. The crits were rigorous and thoughtful, and I never missed one of them. Her honest and direct nature helped me form a foundation on which I would build a successful career I commercial art.

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email us your story

If you would prefer to submit a memory from your time at Pratt via email, you may do so here. Please note that all submissions will be reviewed by the Pratt 125th Anniversary editorial team for possible inclusion in Institute publications and in the installation titled Recall by artist Jean Shin.

Recall: Jean Shin JEAN SHIN: RECALL

Join acclaimed artist, alumna, and faculty member Jean Shin in creating a major public art project on Pratt’s Brooklyn campus. To learn more and participate, visit the Recall project site.

VISIT THE RECALL PROJECT SITE >