(Italy, 1898 - 1970)
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Born San Fale, Italy. Came to California in 1915 and studied at the Art Students' League in New York from 1913-1915. Traveled to Europe and China from 1916-1921. Returned to San Francisco in 1921, and spent the rest of his life there when he wasn't traveling. Taught at S.F. Institute of Art, but in 1923 was dismissed because he was too modern for the conservative faculty. Later taught at UC Berkeley and the Calif. College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Was a prolific sculptor, and many of his works are publicly accessible in the Bay Area, as well as in capitals in European countries. Died on Aug. 16, 1970, in San Francisco.
He is best known for his large-scale monuments representing peace. His modernist work often featured smoothly rounded animals and relatively simple shapes. He worked in ceramics, stone, stainless steel, and mosaic, and sometimes combined two or more of these media. Some of his works are cast stone replicas. He sometimes went by the name Benvenuto Bufano because he admired Benvenuto Cellini. His youthful nickname was "Bene," which was often anglicized into "Benny." He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in November 1938.[