October 31st, 2017
Stanford Court Unveils Restored Bufano Statue
After pulling out a 3-ton penguin statue on the premises with a crane and sending it off for restoration, we want to welcome back our 10-foot mama penguin to Stanford Court Hotel. You can’t miss her and her chicks, standing proudly in our fully rebooted main entrance.
For some background, the statue is at least 40 years old. It was tucked away in an area of the hotel grounds that the guests couldn’t enjoy to its full potential, so we decided to clear a proper space for it in our main entrance. The statue is part of a greater whole of similar statues within the city, created by Beniamino Bufano, an Italian artist who fell in love with San Francisco during the World Fair in 1915 and made it his home.
Bufano was a strong crusader in public art for the people and believed that art should be big enough to be enjoyed by everybody, and not too small to fit in anyone’s pocket. With his multi-ton statues across San Francisco, the eccentric artist was certainly true to his word.
Throughout San Francisco, Bufano’s art remains. It is usually in the form of animals, including bears, cats, seals and butterflies, all made of stone. Many take the form of a mother protecting her young.
He also worked with mosaics and is known for his Peace Totems, also found in Potrero Hill, Fort Mason and along the northern coast of California.
According to the SF Chronicle, there are 58 works of Bufano in #SF alone, with many kept in hospitals, colleges, housing projects and churches. A small collection is also on display in a The Mission, in the Valencia Garden Housing Project. Sixteen of his works are city-owned with two, both frog and seal, located in the Aquatic Park.
Near SCH in Chinatown’s St. Mary’s Square, Bufano’s ode to Chinese philosopher Sun Yat-sen is on display.
For more Bufano, check out the SF Chronicle’s interactive map of all his works city-wide.