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Northwest History. China 1. Art.
Northwest History. China 1. Art.
Original index titleNorthwest History. China 1. Art.
NewspaperChristian Science Monitor ; November 14, 1936
TitleChinese Republic's Founder Carved in Steel and Stone.
DescriptionChinese Republic's Founder Carved in Steel and Stone.
Subject KeysSan Francisco ; symbol ; statue ; Dr. Sun Yat-sen ; Nationalist Government of China ; Chinese park ; San Francisco Chinatown ; Beniamino Bufano ; San Francisco sculptor ; local chapter ; Kuomintang (Chinese National Party) ; stainless steel ; electric welding ; granite ; Chinese patriot ; San Francisco art commission ; park commission ; mural project ; Los Angeles ; Sacramento ; visual education ; California ; water color ; ancient petroglyphs ; San Francisco Mills Field Airport
Date.OriginalNovember 14, 1936
Resource Identifiernwh 1-85
SubjectsNorthwest, Pacific -- History -- 20th century
China -- History -- 20th century.
Resource TypeText
SourceNorthwest History China box 1
LanguageEnglish
Date.DigitalDecember, 2012
Full-TextChinese Republic's Founder Carved in Steel and Stone. Special to The Christian Science Monitor. SAN FRANCISCO—As a symbol of the part played by Chinese in the development of San Francisco, a large statue of the late Dr. Sun Yat-sen, president of the Nationalist Government of China, has been modeled for erection in the Chinese park in San Francisco's Chinatown. The statue has been developed as a part of the WPA art project here by Beniamino Bufano, San Francisco sculptor, for presentation to the city by the local chapter of the Kuomintang (Chinese National Party). The project is significant, not only because it means the erection in America of the likeness of a noted Chinese statesman, but also because it involves the use of materials new to sculpture. Some of It is Steel Portions of the 14-foot statue are made of stainless steel. Use of this medium has forced Mr. Bufano to develop a unique method of sculpture. Since heat would dull the luster of the steel, Mr. Bufano, instead of casting the parts, has beaten them into shape to be joined together by electric welding. Using this method, he has been forced to work from plans and drawings instead of a model. The steel is used for the torso, arms and legs of the figure, while the head and hands are chiseled from red granite. In producing a statue of the Chinese patriot, Mr. Bufano worked with a familiar subject. He once lived with Dr. Sun for four months, during which time he was commissioned to paint a portrait of his host. He is using his previous production as well as drawings and pictures, in his unique statue project. Pares Cost Tremendously. Although the artist has worked with metals for several years, he credits experiments of the steel industry with developing the metal used for the Sun statue. This medium, Mr. Bufano has discovered, permits an artistic effect with a minimum of cost. "If I had cast this statue in the usual materials, " he illustrated, "the work would have cost $25, 000. By working directly with the steel I have reduced the cost of my materials to about $500." While this project, which has the approval of the San Francisco art commission and the park commission, has attracted considerable attention, it is but a small part of the broad WPA art program under way in San Francisco. Such projects as a 20-foot granite figure of a "Mother of the Races, " a life-size figure in stone of Pasteur, and various works in metal, wood and ceramics, will make worthy additions to the city's collection of art objects. Other Artists Are Busy. Some 27 artists on a "central easel project" have turned out about 150 water color and oil paintings which following local and national exhibitions, will adorn tax-supported institutions, mostly schools and museums. A mural project is under way, in which 37 artists are engaged on 22 murals and mosaics. This project has had an unforseen benefit in that it has developedd the use of domestic tile for mosaic work in place of imported materials. Such beautiful effects have been achieved that local materials are assured a market in this field long after the government-supported art work is completed. So too, the lithographers have developed a transfer paper on the project itself and used it for some 100 black and white lithographs and a few in color. Artists from Los Angeles to Sacramento are having a part in this project. Several Fields Embraced. On the side of visual education, the lithograph project is printing and compiling several series of prints, including a set of water color reproductions of the ancient petroglyphs found in the caves of California, a set of hand-colored wildflower plates and two sets of Commedia del Arte costume plates. Poster and photographic work, production of a pictorial display for the state parks and a scale model of San Francisco Mill Field Airport are among other achievements. A research group, local unit in the national project of compiling an index of American design, is doing notable pioneer work in clarifying the native background in the arts.
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