The Peace Garden by Peter Mason Bond – San Francisco, CA
The Peace Garden, San Francisco (Circa 1950–60)
by Peter Mason Bond (1880–1971)

A native of Australia, Peter Mason Bond immigrated to San Francisco in 1905 and worked as a sign painter. After his retirement, he proceeded to decorate his two-story home and the adjoining tree-filled lot with signs and objects. A fervent pacifist, Bond erected tall letters on the roof of his home reading “PEACE” and filled the lot with signs declaring his campaign for world peace and freedom from oppressive religions. He used his social-security payments to fund a series of antiwar handbills and often appeared uninvited at San Francisco City Hall events declaring himself the Ambassador from Australia. An energetic man, he also created paintings, often scenes of Golden Gate Park and other local landscapes and sentimental pictures of flowers and kittens. Highly gregarious, he held court in front of his home for hours daily, wearing his “peace” bowtie and painted yellow and blue Panama hat, expressing his theories and political views.

In 1968 he enjoyed his first and only public exhibition, for which his garden was re-created and paintings displayed in the Diego Rivera Gallery of the San Francisco Art Institute; he was present for every open hour of the month-long exhibition, chatting at length with students. Within days after his death, his garden was dismantled and disposed of in a dumpster, as many neighbors considered the site an eyesore. Only three signs from the garden exist today, two in private hands and the other in the collection of the San Francisco Art Commission.

The house was eventually demolished and is now the site of a condominium.
Clayton Street at 17th Avenue, San Francisco, CA
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