Alumna Harty du Pont '76 Gifts the Helen Hartley Mead Platt Prize for Visual Arts

BY Zoe Contros Kearl, November 9, 2018

Columbia School of the Arts alumna Harty du Pont '76 has made a generous gift for a new prize in the Visual Arts program. The Helen Hartley Mead Platt Prize, named in memory of Harty’s mother, seeks to support a rising 2nd year Visual Arts student as determined by the faculty for their excellence. Harty and her family have a long history and a deep connection to the Columbia University community.


This year’s beneficiary is Visual Arts student Noah Jackson '19. “Noah shows incredible promise," Harty said, "I wanted professors to make the selection because they work with the students daily, they're in the trenches with them and know everyone’s work. I’m just so honored to be able to grant this award." 


Noah Jackson (b. 1995, Provo, Utah) currently lives and works in New York— his favorite animal is the North American beaver, and favorite plant is the cottonwood tree.


Harty was the first printmaking student and graduate from the Visual Arts program in 1976. She received a joint degree at the Columbia Teachers College concurrently with her MFA, and following graduation, she was the first elected president of the School of Arts Alumni Association. Harty highlighted the importance of Columbia University to her entire family, the importance of arts and of the university while underlying the family’s age old dedication to the community.


“I grew up on Columbia University lore, my mother was always talking about Columbia. She would be so honored by this gift because she loved art so much, it was such a big part of her life. The movement and the beauty of her drawings came from how she knew animals, she knew how they moved and felt. She rode horseback until she was 89 and I went out with her every day when weather permitted. I always wanted to do what my mother did and so I began to paint at her knee.”


Of the named award, Harty said, “It is an honor to give this gift. My mother would have thought it a great honor."