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Welcome Back, George

SFMOMA announced yesterday that it has acquired Portrait of George (Moscone), sculptor Robert Arneson's monumental memorial bust of the assassinated Mayor. Commissioned by the city in 1981 and intended for the (then) new convention center, the raw, graffiti-like content Arneson included on the base caused a controversy. Unwilling to change the base, Arneson took back the work, reimbursed the Arts Commission and it was later sold to a private collection. Fast-forward 30 years, and thanks to the Phylliss Wattis Fund, it's back in the pubic eye. There's video, and the portrait goes on view today at SFMOMA in a new gallery devoted to Robert Arneson's work. [SFMOMA press release]