Mother and Child by Raimondo Puccinelli (1904-1986) in located on Fulton between Kern and Tulare
Born in San Francisco in 1904, and a survivor of the great 1906 earthquake, Raimondo Puccinelli traveled to Italy in the 1920’s where he studied Italian sculpture, while living with family members.
Upon returning to the US, he became friends with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and came in contact with Henri Matisse, who encouraged him to exhibit his work in New York and Paris. In the 1930’s he became friends with several other twentieth century icons, classical composers Darius Milhaud and Edgar Varese, and dancer Martha Graham. Many of his works were inspired by dance. In 1942 he was appointed professor at UC Berkeley and headed the department of sculpture. He moved to New York in 1948 and in 1956 went on a State Department sponsored tour of Latin America where he exhibited his sculpture and drawings, and lectured at universities. He moved to Florence, Italy in 1960 where he established a studio, and in 1964 was invited to show his work at the World’s Fair.
Piccinnelli’s art has been exhibited in the US at Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Seattle Art Museum; Legion of Honor, San Francisco; de Young Museum, San Francisco; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Oakland Museum of California Art; and extensively throughout Europe and Latin America.
Porphyry is a type of volcanic rock that typically features large grained crystals of one rock, suspended within the fine grained crystals of another, giving it a distinctive look and texture. The word porphyry derives from the Greek word meaning “purple” though this sculpture is an example of brown porphyry. It has been a material of choice for sculpture since the days of Ancient Egypt and Rome.