José Buscaglia Guillermety

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José Buscaglia Guillermety : biography

1938 –

José Buscaglia Guillermety (born in 1938) is an educator and sculptor.

Early years

Buscaglia was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico into a distinguished Puerto Rican family. His father Rafael was a very important and influential political figure within the ranks of The Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico. Besides being one of the co-founders of the party and the founder of the Banco Gubernamental of Fomento, he also held the cabinet position of Treasurer. Buscaglia’s mother, Josefina Guillermety, once was a student of noted opera singer Antonio Paoli.

The family lived in the Santurce section of San Juan and also had a farm in Comerio, a town located in the central mountains of the island. There he came into constant contact with nature. On one occasion when he was six years old, his father went on a trip to New York City and when he returned he presented young Buscaglia with a box of modeling clay. He became fascinated with the gift and started to model human figures with it. His father recognized that his young son had a talent for sculpting and in 1946 enrolled him in an arts school where he was to take lessons from Ismael D’Alzina. After attending his regular school, he would go to the arts school and take six hours of sculpting classes.

Buscaglia received his primary and secondary education at the Sacred Heart Academy of Santurce and in 1956 graduated. He then enrolled at Harvard University to pursue his studies in sculpting. In 1958, he went to Barcelona, Spain where he took some specialized studies for a year. After a year in Spain, he returned to Harvard and graduated in 1960.


Buscaglia’s son José Buscaglia-Salgado is the Director of the Program in Caribbean Studies and Associate professor of the Department of Romance languages and Literatures at the University at Buffalo.

On July 31, 2004, In Providence, Rhode Island, the Puerto Rican Day Parade and Festival Oraganization presented José Buscaglia Guillermety with the "Artistic Excellence Award".


Monuments created by Buscaglia

Some of the monuments created by Buscaglia are the following:

  • Jesus T. Piñero (1962)
  • Roberto Cofresi
  • Robert Frost
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Statue of Justice 1973
  • Roberto Clemente
  • Eugenio Maria de Hostos
  • Death Mask of Pablo Casals
  • Altar de la Patria (dedicated in 2012)


Buscaglia returned to Puerto Rico in 1962 and was commissioned by the Government of Puerto Rico make a monument in the likeness of the late governor Jesus T. Piñero. He was hired by the University of Puerto Rico and held the position of Director of Fine Arts from 1962 to 1980.

Buscaglia traveled to Venezuela upon that country’s invitation. He was instrumental in the development and design of an experimental program that became known as "Project Intelligence" and which was sponsored by the Venezuelan Government and Harvard University.

Buscaglia has created over forty monuments which can be found in Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands and the United States. Some of his works have been exhibited at Yale University, Harvard University, Rockefeller Center, Washington, D.C., Barcelona and Madrid.

Buscaglia is a Fellow of the National Sculptor Society and a founding member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico.