David Pratt (1918-2010), Guardians, 1990; watercolor on paper, Overall: 21 1/4 x 29 1/4 in. (54 x 74.3 cm) Frame: 30 x 37 3/4 in. (76.2 x 95.9 cm); Purchased in memory of Ethel Louise Baetzhold Haug, 1990
A Life in the Arts: David Pratt
On View Saturday, May 20–Sunday, July 2, 2006
Twenty-six works dating from 1942 to 2006 provided a mini-retrospective survey of the career of David Pratt. Born in 1918, Pratt studied at the Art Institute of Buffalo from 1935 to 1940 with painter William B. Rowe and sculptor William Ehrich, and he attended a painting seminar at the University of Buffalo in 1951 to study with Charles E. Burchfield. He was stationed in the South Pacific while serving in the U. S. Army from 1940 through 1945. After the war, Pratt joined the Art Institute of Buffalo as an instructor of creative painting, beginning in 1947, and subsequently, he served as director from October 1949 through summer 1952. Employed in the construction industry from 1955 through 1982, Pratt always found time for painting. Jazz and fantasy contribute to Pratt’s style of abstraction in his watercolor landscape, which sometimes carry over into hand-painted frames. In 1992, the (then-named) Burchfield Art Center organized a retrospective exhibition covering artworks from 1939 to 1991. This exhibition presented a sample of works to pay home to Pratt’s lifelong achievements in the field.