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Brother Thomas Bezanson

Biography to Display: 

1929Born, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

2007Died, Erie, Pennsylvania

EDUCATION

1950BA Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada

1968MA Philosophy, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1951-1958Advisor, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada

1959-1984Brother, Benedictine Monastery, Weston Priory, Vermont

1985-2007Artist-in-Residence, Mount Saint Benedict, Erie, Pennsylvania

 

Brother Thomas began to work in clay in 1953. His works are characterized by simple, symmetrical, thrown porcelain forms. Throughout his career he was constantly refining old forms and seeking to perfect new ones. He is renowned for his original glaze recipes. It is said that his exacting standards resulted in nearly 80% of each firing being destroyed. 

Brother Thomas entered the Benedictine Monastery, Weston Priory, in 1959, where he lived and worked for 25 years. Proceeds from the sale of his work helped support the work of the Priory.

In 1985 he became an Artist-in-Residence at Mount Saint Benedict,  where he lived and worked for the rest of his life.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Aidekman Art Center, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio

Allentown Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, Massachusetts

Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick, Canada

Bellerive Museum, Zurich, Switzerland

Benedictine Sisters of Erie, Erie, Pennsylvania

The Bennington Museum of Art, Bennington, Vermont

Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, Tennessee

Bunting Institute, Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec, Canada

Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, Ohio

The Commonwealth School, Boston, Massachusetts

Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York, New York

Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire

Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts

Dimock Gallery, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Erie Art Museum, Erie, Pennsylvania

Everson Museum, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York

Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont

Fogg Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Framingham State College, Framingham, Massachusetts

Gardiner Museum of Ceramics, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

G.W.V. Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts

Hokkaido University, Hokkaido, Japan

Holderness School, Plymouth, New Hampshire

International Museum of Ceramics, Faenza, Italy

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California

Mercyhurst College, Erie, Pennsylvania

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Mint Museum of Craft + Design, Charlotte, North Carolina

The Museum of Ceramic Art at Alfred University, Alfred, New York

Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island

Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts

Musée Bernard Palissy, Lacapelle-Biron, France

Neuestadt Museum, Landsberg Am Lech, Germany

Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey

Osaka Municipal Museum, Osaka, Japan

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, Arizona

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine

Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Roberson Center for the Arts and Sciences, Binghamton, New York

Rose Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts

Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California

Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana

St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, England

St. Lawrence University, Canton, New York

Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel

Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art, Haifa, Israel

University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts

Vatican Collection, Rome, Italy

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Massachusetts

Windsor Castle, Windsor, England

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut

Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Nagano, Paul T. Porcelain of Brother Thomas: The Path to the Beautiful. Boston, MA: David R. Godine Publisher, 1987.

The Ceramics of Weston Priory/Brother Thomas. Springfield, MA: George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, 1980.

Williams, Rosemary ed. Creation Out of Clay: The Ceramic Art and Writings of Brother Thomas. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1999.

 

CV or Resume: Click Here to Download

 

Typical Marks

Marks images from "The Ceramics of Weston Priory/Brother Thomas." Springfield, MA: George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, 1980.

1953 - ca. 1965
ca. 1965-70
1970s
ca. 1980 - 1985
1985 to Present
Vessel
Form: Vessel
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
1985 onward
Covered Box
Form: Box
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Covered Jar
Form: Covered Jar
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Covered Vase
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Vase
Form: Vase
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Square Plate
Form: Plate
Method: Press Mold
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Square Center Bowl
Form: Bowl
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Ribbed Bowl
Form: Bowl
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Vase
Date: 1974
Form: Vase
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Five Mugs
Form: Mug
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Photo: Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Cylinder Vase
Form: Vase
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Art, Springfield, MA, gift of Brother Thomas Bezanson and Pucker Gallery, Boston, MA
Photo: John Polak
Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Art, Springfield, MA, gift of Brother Thomas Bezanson and Pucker Gallery, Boston, MA
Photo: John Polak
Photo: John Polak
Copper Red Glaze Flask Vase
Form: Vase
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Pucker Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
Tall Chrysanthemum Glaze Vase
Form: Vase
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
Creation of Luminaries
Photo: Pucker Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
Creation of Luminaries

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified November 23, 2017. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/bezanson