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Bufano “Madonna”

Bufano “Madonna”

Beniamino Bufano was a renowned local figure in the San Francisco Bay Area, famous for being politically outspoken and artistically creative. Born in 1889 and spending his youth in New York as an immigrant from San-Fele, Italy, Bufano traveled the world before settling in San Francisco. Here he was commissioned to create several monumental sculptures, many of which can still be found in public spaces around the City. Among them is Madonna, located at the San Francisco General Hospital on Potrero Avenue.

ARG Conservation Services (ARG/CS) was contracted by the San Francisco Arts Commission to clean and implement conservation treatments following Madonna’s move to its present location. The purpose of the project was to clean the sculpture, and repair and visually integrate deteriorated and damaged stone, metal, and mosaic elements.

Treatment consisted of removing biological growth, replacing missing glass mosaic tesserae, replacing deteriorated mosaic grout, sealing open joints between metal and stone, removing lead corrosion accretions from the concrete base, installing a protective coating on stone surfaces, and integrating visual elements of stone and metal using acrylic paint and mineral pigments. These conservation efforts have helped to stabilize Bufano’s monumental piece and restore its unique beauty.


Conservation Treatments


San Francisco Arts Commission


San Francisco Arts Commission


Mosaics, Sculptures