top of page
Welcome to the online presentation of Marvin Sweet & Friends: A Celebration. Please walk through the gallery, peruse the show and share it with your friends. We hope that you will get a feel for what it was like to be in the gallery among the work, the tributes and Marvin's friends.
Unless marked SOLD or NFS, all work is for sale with a percentage of the sales price being donated to the American Heart Association in honor and in memory of our friend Marvin. To make a purchase or for any inquiry please contact The Potters Shop & School at 781.449.7687 or
This presentation will remain online indefinitely. Enjoy your visit,,,

Curators Statement

Marvin Sweet & Friends: A Celebration, brings together sixteen of Marvin’s friends, who, through their work and words, share their remembrances and friendship with Marvin with you. This exhibition is heartfelt,

emotional—a personal convergence of creativity, expression and love for our dear friend.


A few years after Marvin’s passing, Steven approached Catherine with the idea for this exhibition. The timing

wasn’t right and the idea was left to percolate until eighteen months ago when the three of us got together,

worked out the concept and details, and assembled the group of artists.


Each friend was invited to submit a piece or two of their own work and an object or expression as a tribute to

Marvin; a photo, another piece of their art, a piece of art from their collection, something that reminded them of

their unique relationship with Marvin. Each Tribute Piece is accompanied by a Tribute Narrative. The show’s

installation reveals a central collection of Marvin’s work, surrounded by the work of Marvin’s friends, as if

cradling his memory in symbolic loving commentary, The artists, as a further testament to their friendship, are donating a portion of the sales of their work to the American Heart Association in memory of Marvin. The Gorse Mill Gallery has also generously waived all sales commissions, gallery fees and exhibition preparation costs. 


We hope that after viewing Marvin Sweet & Friends: A Celebration, and reading our Tributes, that those of you

who are meeting Marvin for the first time, will get to know him, understand how he touched our lives and why

we are honored to call him a friend.

With love to all,

Steven Branfman

Ellen Schön

Catherine Jason

September 14, 2018

A Tribute to Marvin Sweet

Marvin Sweet was an inspiring ceramicist, teacher, and writer. I had the privilege of working with

him for a number of years at Bradford College and St. Anselm College. His untimely death in 2010 was

difficult and sad for many. This memorial exhibit is a meaningful way to honor his many contributions to

our world. The following words are a tribute to his creative work and the lasting legacy he has left in the

world of art, and education.

Marvin received his BA from Hawthorne College in Antrim, NH in 1974, and his MFA, Summa Cum

Laude, from Boston University in 1984. He worked as a professor of Ceramics at a variety of places

including Bradford College, where he received the Professor of the Year Award in 1993; The Art Institute

of Boston at Lesley University; the University of New Hampshire; and Saint Anselm College in Manchester,

NH. At St. Anselm College where I served as Chair of the Fine Arts Department for many years, Marvin

created the college’s Ceramics program, which has continued, inspired by his initial work. Marvin was not

only a gifted ceramicist, creating both functional ceramic works and creative sculptural ceramic objects,

but also he was an inspiring teacher for many students. Besides conducting interesting and very

instructive courses, he also spent much individual time with students. Although he only taught part-time

at St. Anselm College, he devoted much extra time to students and running the Ceramics studio area.


Besides teaching, Marvin was also a guest speaker, artist, and juror at a number of museums,

galleries, and conferences throughout his productive career, including such places as the Ceramics

program of the Office of the Arts at Harvard University; the University of Colorado; the University of

Denver; the Denver Art Museum; the University of California at Berkeley; Montgomery College; the

Boston Fine Arts Museum; the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA; Holter Museum of Art in Helena,

MT; Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing ,China; Jingdezhen Ceramics Art Academy in Jingdezhen,

China; Bermuda National Gallery in Hamilton, Bermuda;; and the Taipei Art Center in Taipei, Taiwan. In

2009 the Thayer Art Gallery in Braintree, MA, hosted a significant show of Marvin’s work: “Marvin Sweet: A Survey- 25 Years in Ceramics”. He also exhibited his work at St. Anselm College. I feel most fortunate to have a beautiful teapot that he created for me, with a special note written into the clay work on the top:

“ Kathy’s Tea”. Other places Marvin exhibited his work included: Texas A & M University; Rochester

Institute of Technology; Concordia College, in Ann Arbor, MI; and the Farrell Collection in Washington,



Related to his interest in Chinese ceramics, Marvin traveled extensively in China and was the

author of a number of articles related to artistic influences that have existed between Eastern and

Western cultures. During his career he put together an impressive collection of Chinese scholar art, which

included scholar’s rocks, root art, and other objects used on the scholar’ table, as well as approximately

two-hundred Yixing teapots which dated from the 18th century to the early 21st century. His collection

served as the basis for his book, The Yixing Effect: Echoes of the Chinese Scholar, which was presented by

President Hu Jintao of the People’s Republic of China as a cultural exchange gift to Yale University for its

permanent collection. Marvin was also the author of a number of articles that appeared in a variety of

publications including “Ceramics Monthly Magazine,” and catalogue entries for various ceramics exhibits.

Marvin’s creative spirit, and love of both teaching and learning, will continue to have an impact on

many, as evidenced with the mounting of this memorial exhibition. Marvin’s work may, in many ways,

illustrate what the famous artist, Pablo Picasso, also noted for his ceramics work, wrote, “ Art washes

from the soul the dust of everyday life, “ and what the well-known sculptor, Henry Moore, wrote,

“ To be an artist is to believe in life”.

Dr. Katherine Hoffman

Professor, Fine Arts Department

Saint Anselm College

Manchester, NH 03102 USA

Double click on an image to enlarge and to view any description or caption.
Artists Statements and Bios
bottom of page