Howard Ben Tré

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Howard Ben Tré
Born May 13, 1949
Brooklyn, New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American

Portland State University

Rhode Island School of Design
Known for Glass-making

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship

Boston Society of Architects, Art & Architecture Collaboration Award[1]
Website Official website
Patron(s) Ben W. Heineman, Sr.
Glass vase, 1985

Howard Ben Tré (born May 13, 1949) is an American glass artist. He works with poured glass, creating small sculptures and large scale public artworks. Glass magazine has called Ben Tré a pioneer in the technique of using hot glass casting in fine art.[2]

Personal life and education[edit]

Howard Ben Tré was born May 13, 1949 in Brooklyn, New York.[1] In the 1960s he attended Brooklyn College for two years[1] and was a political activist.[3] In the 1970s he left New York with his wife, Gay, for Oregon. At Portland State University he learned about the university's well-known glass-blowing shop and began studying the creation process, finding influence in religious objects.[3] He would obtain his bachelor's degree at Portland and move back to the East coast where he would graduate from Rhode Island School of Design with a Masters of Fine Arts in 1980.[1] He lives and works in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.[4]

Artistic career[edit]

He started by blowing glass, struggling to succeed at the skill. Through his education at Portland State University, he would discover the process of pouring glass. Pulling inspiration from African and Japanese religious icons and figures, he uses his artwork to explore connections between the two.[3]

Ben Tré utilizes his training as an industrial manufacturing master technician to create glass artworks based on traditional methods. His studio space, located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, is a former glass product manufacturing plant. He creates fine art castings by pouring molten glass into sand molds, applying heat and then cooling them for months. The form is then dug out from the sand mold, sand blasted, cut, ground, and polished. Many of Ben Tré's works involve the use of gold leaf; by way of wrapping portions of works or installing lead bars within the pieces covered with gold leaf. The glass sculptures are often symmetrical. His wife, Gay, assists in the designing and planning of his large scale works, including the installation of his public art.[5]


In lieu of Ben Tré's 2001 exhibition at the Orange County Museum of Art, critic Roberta Carasso described his work as being "part of the glass revolution".[5] The Christian Science Monitor described his poured glass works as timeless, monumental and "hulking, architectural forms he creates...existed before the dawn of recorded history."[3] Arthur Danto stated in 2000 that Ben Tré's glass works were redefining and powerful, and that he creates "a kind of pleasure that we don't usually associate with art."[3]

Notable collections & installations[edit]

Notable exhibitions[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Calo, Carole Gold. "Public Art / Private Art: Dichotomy or Intersection?." Public Art Review 15.1 (2003): 4-10.
  • D.K. "Howard Ben Tre." Artforum International 35.7 (1997): 91.
  • Danto, Arthur C., Mary Jane Jacob and Patterson Sims. Howard Ben Tré. Manchester: Hudson Hills Press (1999). ISBN 1-55595-187-2
  • French, Meghann & Eleanor Heartney. Private Visions, Utopian Ideals: The Art of Howard Ben Tre. Buffalo: University of Buffalo (2005). ISBN 0-9748932-4-2
  • Jepson, Barbara. "The Gallery: Community Through Glass." Wall Street Journal - Eastern Edition 18 Oct. 2001: A24.
  • Johnson, Linda L. Howard Ben Tre: Contemporary Sculpture. Washington: Phillips Collection (1989). ISBN 0-943044-14-6
  • Ben Tré, Howard, Diana L. Johnson and Donald B. Kusbit. Howard Ben Tré: New Work. Providence: Brown University (1993). ISBN 0-933519-26-5
  • Streitfeld, L. P. (Lisa P.), 1958-. "Interior Exterior Vision: A Conversation with Howard Ben Tre." Sculpture (Washington, D.C.) 21.9 (2002): 44-49.
  • "Vis Alchemical." Neues Glas 1 (1998): 54.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Howard Ben Tré" (PDF). Bios. Imago Galleries. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-22. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  2. ^ Perreault, John (1999). "Howard Ben Tre: a conversation: interview". Glass. National Glass Association. 75: 23–27. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Goodale, Gloria (2000). "Artist forms meaning in poured glass". Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. 92 (61): 20. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  4. ^ "Oral history interview with Howard Ben Tre, 2007 July 7". Oral history interviews. Archives of American Art. 2007. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Roberta Carasso (2001). "Howard Ben Tré". Articles. ArtScene. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  6. ^ "Caryatids". Collections. Hunter Museum of American Art. Archived from the original on 2011-07-02. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  7. ^ "Fountains". Design features. Friends of Post Office Square. 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-10-03. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  8. ^ "New Sculptural Works by Howard Ben Tré". Archive News - May 2007. Hood Museum of Art. 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-09-30. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  9. ^ Boulanger, Susan (2004). "Howard Ben Tre's Mantled Figure". Art New England. 25 (5): 5. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  10. ^ Adlin, Jane (1996). "Howard Ben Tre: Siphon: 1989, glass sculpture, acquisition". Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. 54: 70. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  11. ^ "Public art in Bethesda". Arts & Entertainment. Bethesda Urban Partnership. 2010. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  12. ^ "Glass Act". Art & Antiques. 29 (11): 71. 2006. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 
  13. ^ Silberman, Robert (2002). "Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art". American Craft. 62 (5): 94–9. 
  14. ^ Goodman, Jonathan (2002). "Howard Ben Tré at Charles Cowles". Art in America. 90 (4): 145. Retrieved 1 Jul 2011. 

External links[edit]