In the 1970s, when Brother Thomas, a Benedictine monk and a ceramic artist, first met Sue and Bernie Pucker, owners of the Pucker Gallery on Boston’s Newbury Street, ceramics were considered to be more craft than art. Brother Thomas changed that perception forever. Today, his work can be found in more than 50 national and international museums and galleries, including the Pucker Gallery, which holds the largest and most diverse collection of his work.
Toward the end of his life, Brother Thomas joined forces with the Puckers to create a legacy that would benefit other artists at critical junctures in their careers through the sale of his work. The Brother Thomas Fund was established at the Boston Foundation in 2007 to honor Brother Thomas’ legacy. Today, the proceeds of the sale of the remarkable works held by the Pucker Gallery—a series of breathtaking vessels with luminous and delicate glazes—support the Brother Thomas Fellowships at the Boston Foundation.
In October, the fifth class of Brother Thomas Fellows was announced—numbering 14, more than in any previous class. The quality and the range of their work are astounding. From choreographers to visual artists to composers to filmmakers, the one thing tying all of these talented people together is their profound dedication to their work.
Each Brother Thomas Fellow receives an award of $15,000. Fellowships—given without stipulation as to how the funds are spent—match the needs of artists as well as the wishes of Brother Thomas, who wanted to help other artists as his friends had helped him. With the awards given to this class, a total of 44 Brother Thomas Fellows have received $660,000 in unrestricted funds from the program.
“We at the Boston Foundation believe that the arts and artists are fundamental to our community,” said Foundation President and CEO Paul S. Grogan. “These Brother Thomas Fellows reflect the diversity of our people and the richness of the cultures that make up our city’s neighborhoods. Their work and their contributions will enrich our community and our lives in ways we can only imagine.”
HELP SUPPORT THE ARTS IN BOSTON
The Boston Foundation matches all contributions to the Brother Thomas Fund. We invite you to join us in fulfilling Brother Thomas’ vision. You can also contribute to the Boston Foundation Arts Fund, Greater Boston’s only permanent endowment for arts and culture.