The Life and Art of Beniamino Bufano
One of the city's most colorful artists, Beniamino Bufano was born in Italy in 1898 but made San Francisco his home. He is known for his large, smoothly-rounded, granite monuments, more than twenty of which can be found around the Bay Area. Pictured above are his St. Francis which sits near Fisherman's Wharf and Bear and Cubs which graces the front of the Marin Humane Society in Novato. He also crafted the statue to Sun Yat-Sen that sits in St. Mary's Square.

But Bufano is also remembered for his outspoken political beliefs and actions. He famously cut off his trigger finger and sent it to Woodrow Wilson to protest World War I. Later he was fired from a WPA commission when it was discovered that his intended subject was San Francisco labor leader Harry Bridges. It was Bufano that gave Franklin D. Roosevelt the idea to wear a cape, and in response to the assassinations of MLK and RFK, Bufano created St. Francis of the Guns which was made out of melted down guns turned in by citizens.

Bufano lived in San Francisco for over 40 years where he taught at the San Francisco Institute of Art (before being fired for being too radical) he then worked at his Minna Street studio until he died in 1970. If you want a sculpture of Beniamino Bufano's for your own you may be in luck. Check your pocket change, Bufano also designed the buffalo on the buffalo nickel.
[ MAP K-12 & G-9 ]