Over 400 guests attended Legends 2009 — Pratt Institute's largest annual scholarship benefit — which raised $400,000 through ticket sales during a festive and glamorous event on October 29 at 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan. Pratt honored fashion designer Marc Jacobs; architect and designer David Rockwell; and performer, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith as distinguished individuals whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt.
Patti Smith was presented her award by photographer Edward Mappelthorpe, brother of Pratt alumnus and artist Robert Mappelthorpe and son of Pratt alumnus Harry Mappelthorpe. Edward Mappelthorpe, who gave a moving introduction that detailed Smith's completeness as an artist and the guidance she offered him as a fellow artist. Smith accepted her award by speaking of her time living on Hall Street in Brooklyn with collaborator Robert Mappelthrope and befriending his fellow Pratt students: “Even though I never attended Pratt I was touched by the world of Pratt, by the campus, by the students, by the professors, and I'm very happy to be part of a night that builds resources for scholarships.”
Former Legends Award recipient and architect Richard Meier gave a warm introduction to his friend David Rockwell by acknowledging his many accomplishments before presenting him with his award. Model and photographer Helena Christensen introduced and presented Marc Jacobs with his award. She quoted the words of Pratt founder Charles Pratt: “Be true to your work and your work will be true to you” remarked that the phrase is “the essence of what Marc stands for.”
Guests included Terry Winters, Pratt alumnus and painter; Stefan Sagmeister, Pratt alumnus, graphic designer, and typographer; Steven Sebring, photographer and filmmaker; Karim Rashid, award-winning designer; Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, arts advocate and author; Patrick McMullan, president, Patrick McMulllan Company; Paul Banks, lead singer, Interpol; Robert Siegel, Pratt alumnus and principal and founding partner, Gwathmey Siegel and Associates Architects; Robert Pincus-Witten, art historian; and Carlos Zapata, Pratt alumnus and architect.
Legends 2009 was hosted by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt. Pratt Trustees Kurt Andersen and Amy Cappellazzo along with Pratt friend Marjorie Kuhn served as co-chairs for the event.
Current undergraduate industrial design student Kyle Solá designed the Pratt Legends Awards, and was on hand to present the honorees with the awards he worked to create months in advance of the event.
The Legends 2009 ceremony came to a triumphant close when Legends Honoree Patti Smith gave a special four song performance for event attendees, including a sing-along of “Because The Night,” which she dedicated to Robert Mappelthorpe. “The future is in your hands, not only the visionary, but the social aspects,” she told the students in the crowd as she wrapped up her set.