Howard Ben Tré Sculpture “Two-Capped”, 2010

The Newport Art Museum’s campus features several sculptures from artists such as Howard Newman, Michael Hansel, and Arnold Prince. This November, we installed a stunning addition – a glass piece set on a gray granite base titled “Two-Capped” by artist Howard Ben Tré (1949-2020).

Ben Tré was a pioneer in the use of hot glass casting and developed unique mold making and annealing methods that allowed for the creation of large sculptures able to withstand the fluctuations of outdoor temperatures without cracking. Many of his works feature copper, bronze, or stone juxtaposed with the lightness of sea-green industrial glass. 

His interest in archeology and architecture undoubtedly influenced his work, which encompassed sculpture, urban design, and landscape architecture. While he was studying veterinary medicine at Portland State University, he took a glassblowing class, and a new direction for his life’s work was found. During the summer of 1977, he attended Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State where he earned a BSA in ceramics and went on to receive his MFA in glass at RISD.

Ben Tré was the first recipient of the Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts in 1997 and was awarded three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships. His works are found in over eighty public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution; National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. His sculptures can also be found in public spaces around the world.

We recognize and thank Joseph A. Chazan, M.D. for making this significant gift to our permanent collection and those who made the installation possible, including Wendy MacGaw, Jack Alfonso, Eric Portrais, Brian Arnold, Ron Onorato, and the Ed and Martha Kane Foundation.