A relic from another momentous election year whose 40th anniversary we mark in this historic moment of 2008. I think, to some extent, this year marks the realization of many of the dreams of the martyrs of 1968. Anyway, from the CCSF Art Guide (available at the CCSF bookstore annex @ Ocean & Phelan for $3.00, & well worth the price in my view):
"St. Francis of the Guns
Beniamino Bufano, 1898-1970
1969, bronze, gunmetal, mosaic tile
Following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, Mayor Joseph Alioto initiated a voluntary turn-in drive that yielded 2000 handguns. He then commissioned Bufano to use the gunmetal in his sculpture, which he forged in Italy, adding bronze to the gunmetal to keep it from corroding in the city's foggy weather. A mosaic inlay depicts John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln, all victims of assassination by handguns, above a multi-racial children's chorus. The sculpture was dedicated by Mayor George Moscone who was himself assassinated by a handgun 18 months later. It is on permanent loan from the SFAC.
Born in Italy, Bufano taught at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute. Bufano's public sculptures in the Bay Area include: Madonna at Fort Mason, St. Francis at Grace Cathedral, and Peace on Brotherhood Way near Lake Merced."