Pratt Institute raised a record-breaking $522,000 last week at the school’s annual Legends scholarship benefit, held at 7 World Trade Center in Manhattan. More than 400 guests turned out to honor artist Ellsworth Kelly, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, and philanthropist Emily Fisher Landau (pictured at left), who were selected as “distinguished individuals whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt.” The healthy take from ticket sales got a surprise boost from on-the-spot pledges that brought the total amount raised to $560,000: Pratt Trustee James D. Kuhn donated $28,000 in honor of his wife and event co-chair Marjorie Kuhn while Larry Leeds, chairman of Buckingham Capital Management, donated an additional $10,000 in honor of Hilfiger. When it came time to hand out the awards, designed by Pratt industrial design undergrad Klara Varosy (who also got to present them to the honorees), Kelly looked back on his own student days at Pratt in the 1940s. “I want to thank Pratt for putting me on the road to becoming an artist,” he told the crowd, which included architect Robert Siegel, art director George Lois, artist Mickalene Thomas (Pratt alums all); Pratt Trustees and event co-chairs Kurt Andersen and Amy Cappellazzo; and artists Francesco Clemente, Glenn Ligon, and Edward Mapplethorpe. Later, Landau spoke of her legendary eye for artistic talent. “You could take me into any gallery with art around the room and I could tell you which was the best,” she said. “And that was usually the one the artist wasn’t selling.”
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