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In Memoriam: Howard Ben Tré

Artist Howard Ben Tré has passed away at age 71. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ben Tré earned a B.S.A. degree in ceramics at Portland State University, Oregon, in 1978 and an M.F.A. degree in sculpture and glass at the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, in 1980. He lived and worked in Providence. Ben Tré was awarded National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in 1980, 1984, and 1990 and also received Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fellowships in 1979, 1984, and 1990. He was the recipient of the Boston Society of Architects Art & Architecture Collaboration Award in 1993. 

Internationally recognized for his unique sculptures and large-scale works of art for public and private spaces. Ben Tré was a pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium, and his work is included in more than 101 museum and public collections worldwide, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Art, Houston; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice.

Ben Tré’s work has been featured in 54 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including a ten-year retrospective organized by the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, that traveled nationally. Among Ben Tré’s public commissions are the award-winning installation of fountains and seating created for Post Office Square Park in Boston; the plaza and sculpture for BankBoston’s headquarters in downtown Providence; a sited sculpture for the plaza at the Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence; and an interactive fountain for the hall of the Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston. Public commissions include the plaza and seating for the federal courthouse in Las Vegas; the pedestrianization and street scheme redesign of Warrington Town Center in England; sited artwork for Siebel Systems and interactive artwork for the Thea Foss Waterway Esplanade in Tacoma; a glass “wall” for the University of Michigan Ross School of Business; and plazas, with sculpture/fountains and landscaping, for Target Corporation Headquarters in Minneapolis, Bank of America’s Hearst Towers in Charlotte, and Brown University, Providence.

| Posted 20 May 24

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