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photographer unknown

Lenny by unknown photographer

The first week of this semester I headed for the wood shop, but peeked my head in Lenny’s classroom of Sophomores to say hello.  It might have been a self-indulgent reason too, as seeing Lenny would always guarantee my name called in a loving tone, and I would receive a warm sincere hug.  I never made it to the wood shop that day- and it was all for the better.  Lenny quickly had me make a box for the concavity project, and I poured my first test plaster with universal tint.  He was so excited- he said in all his years, no one had been able to achieve this level of saturation.  For my thesis I am working on exercises inspired by Lenny’s teachings, to which I am adding color.  We spoke about it enthusiastically.  I have as of yet to make much progress past the first test and have plans to pour my plaster this weekend.

Today on my way to class I saw Matthew Burger- the Chair of the Industrial Design Department at Pratt.  He was not his normal cheery self.  I asked him what was wrong – he wouldn’t say right away.  Not knowing what it was,I said it was OK, and that we would get through it.  Then his words came out- that are now jumbled due to the immediate on-set of shock- he told me that Lenny had passed away.  I am at a great loss; as are many students, faculty and staff at Pratt.  I didn’t go to class.  I went back to my studio, where on my shelf lays the book Lenny lent to me for inspiration for my thesis- next to one of the sculptures that I did in his class.

Lenny’s door was always open, and I consulted with him often on my design decisions.  He encouraged me and believed that I would always make the right decisions.  I have a lot of ideas, often unrelated, but he had faith that I would make them all come together in the end.  I will continue to develop my exercises that I had started.  They are an homage to Kandinsky, but they will be in dedication to him.

Today ironically is Lenny’s birthday.

Dear Lenny,

I didn’t know the last time was going to be the last time.

You are greatly missed.  Thank you for everything that you have given.

Much Love,




  1. I met Leonard (lenny) over 30 years ago when he was the National Treasurer of the Croatian Fraternal Union in Pittsburgh, PA. At that time we became instant friends. We had alot in common through our ethnic background. He would be the main speaker at banquets. He could bring a room full to tears with his touching words of wisdom. I just found out of his passing. I was shocked. I just talked to him at the end of January.
    By his passing he has left an empty void in many hearts. He was always my sounding board. If I was upset or confused about something all I would have to do is call Lenoard. We would have this great conversation and somehow with out telling me what to do. I knew what I had to do. He was always there.
    I also know how much he loved teaching and his students. You were all very lucky to have had him.
    The would will not be the same without him.
    Pittsburgh, PA

    • Dear Joanne,
      Thank you for your comments. I do hope that you know about an informal memorial service that Pratt will be hosting on May 1st in the late afternoon. I do hope to meet you there.

      Best regards,

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Thersic » Rest In Peace Lenny on 07 Feb 2010 at 3:04 am

    […] Josh Longo […]

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