Brother Thomas Bezanson 1929–2007

“The art object is a symbol of that no-thing interior experience; a world-energy intuitively known but symbolically communicated. What is made out of the singular experience of the artist becomes a communal experience of the all humanity, a wonder in itself…It is not the primary commission of art to make things, but to move hearts.” – Brother Thomas, This is the Day, Pucker Gallery, 2005

Brother Thomas wrote and reflected upon his creativity as much as he enacted it. His sense of wonder, discovery, and reverence are reflected in his work, and led him to create the powerful forms and illuminous glazes for which he is known. Originally from Halifax, Canada, Brother Thomas entered the Benedictine Monastery in Weston, Vermont in 1959, already having begun working in clay by 1953. By 1985, he became an artist-in-residence at Mount Saint Benedict in Erie Pennsylvania, where he remained for the rest of his life.

In 1978, Brother Thomas traveled to Japan and met five potters who had been designated as Living National Treasures. One can readily see the influence of Japanese traditions in his choice and application of glazes, use of the raku firing process, and forms employed such as the tea bowl. He worked exclusively in porcelain, a particularly difficult medium to manipulate when creating larger forms such as his millennial eggs, larger vases, and vessels. Many pieces – it is said nearly 90% –were destroyed, either by his own hand or during the firing process. Brother Thomas was a true experimenter and did not settle for anything less than perfection, as evidenced in the surviving examples whose qualities embody harmony, balance, and elegance. He created a dazzling array of glazes, such as his red copper, opalescent celadon, honan tenmoku, and a variety of textured glazes. His work is included in the collections of over 80 institutions worldwide, including Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Auction Results Brother Thomas Bezanson

BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

vase

estimate: $500–700
result: $375
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, vase with cover | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

vase with cover

estimate: $4,500–6,500
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, bell and tea bowls, set of two | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

bell and tea bowls, set of two

estimate: $600–900
result: $975
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Millennial Egg | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Millennial Egg

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $4,225
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, large flask form vase with stopper | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

large flask form vase with stopper

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $3,000
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, vase with cover | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

vase with cover

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $960
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Large vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Large vase

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $2,875
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Vase

estimate: $3,000–4,000
result: $3,125
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Tall bottle | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Tall bottle

estimate: $1,200–1,800
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Cylindrical vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Cylindrical vase

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $1,250
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Small straight-walled coupe | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Small straight-walled coupe

estimate: $800–1,200
result: $813
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Small bottle | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Small bottle

estimate: $800–1,200
result: $813
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Ikebana vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Ikebana vase

estimate: $1,000–1,500
result: $2,500
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Tall bottle | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Tall bottle

estimate: $1,200–1,800
result: $1,750
BROTHER THOMAS BEZANSON, Early vase | ragoarts.com

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Early vase

estimate: $1,500–2,000
result: $3,000