The Sculptural World of Jose Buscaglia

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More about Jose Buscaglia
Curriculum Vitae

The field of monumental sculpture is barely part of the current art vocabulary, making the art of José Buscaglia all the more compelling. Referring to himself as a cultural nationalist, Buscaglia has committed a long and impressive career to the social and political context of public art. Trained in Puerto Rico and Barcelona, Spain, as well as Harvard, he has been internationally recognized as a sculptor, educator, social scientist and as a specialist in the study of creativity. Born in the capital city of San Juan in 1938, his involvement with the arts dates from the precocious age of eight. During this early phase of his career he underwent intensive training with the Catalonian artist Ismael D’Alsina. While a student at Harvard, he spent a year abroad in Barcelona, working at the studio of world-renowned sculptor Enrique Monjo. He also took courses at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de Barcelona, where Picasso, Dalí and Miró had studied earlier. Following his graduation with honors from Harvard in 1960, he collaborated with Monjo as his assistant and secretary. Returning to Puerto Rico in 1962, Buscaglia held positions for 18 years at the University of Puerto Rico as professor, sculptor in residence and director of fine arts.

His lifelong interest in the nature of the creative process and thinking skills led to his participation in the designing and implementation of experimental educational programs in Venezuela from 1979 to 1985. A joint effort by Harvard University and the Venezuelan government led to an innovative process-oriented program to teach thinking skills known as Project Intelligence.

Buscaglia is perhaps one of the most prolific artists in the field of monumental sculpture, with major shows at Harvard, Yale, Rockefeller Center in New York, and several times in Washington, D.C., Barcelona and Madrid. In 1968 The New York Times referred to Buscaglia’s bronze bust of Robert Frost, unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery ( Washington, D.C.) as: “Unofficially the most important gift to the gallery since its opening...”.

Artist/Professor Ben Shahn said of Buscaglia: “There are few sculptors, young and old, who have the courage to go their own way, not to be overwhelmed by trends and by journalistic approval: there are fewer still who have the competence to do the kind of work that José can and does.” Buscaglia has authored over 40 public monuments in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the United States. He is a Fellow of the National Sculpture Society and founding member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico. As an educator he has taught and lectured at leading institutions in Europe, Latin America and the United States, and has published considerably on the teaching of intelligence and the voluntary control of the creative process.

All Images © by Jose Buscaglia 2007