Benny Bufano was one of the important Italian-American characters and artists of the San Francisco Bay Area. There are some interesting connections of Bufano to Il Cenacolo. Cenacolista Alessandro Baccari was a close friend and interviewed Bufano for a television special. Albert M. Bender, an early Cenacolista, was a patron of Bufano’s who both financed and purchased numerous works of his. Bender’s donation of a painting (not by Bufano) that was auctioned off at Butterfield’s became the major investment component for the Renzo Turco Award that Il Cenacolo presents annually. David Giannini, former President of Il Cenacolo, owns two Bufano statues, one of which is displayed at the Museo ItaloAmericano at Fort Mason.
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