Painting The Past

When I started painting, my mentor suggested using old family photos as reference material. These images would be deeply familiar and meaningful to a new painter, keeping me working when the paint didn’t cooperate. Over the years, I’ve developed a whole body of work illustrating my early life and my family history. I hope you enjoy these images. — Joanne Taeuffer

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How I Found My Buchignani Connection


My mother was born Maria Columbia Buchignani. Her parents were Vittorio Alberto Buchignani and Eva Veronica Giorgi.

Mom and Grand Parents

Growing up in Healdsburg, California I remember spending a lot of time visiting with my mother’s cousins on her Giorgi side. But there were also numerous families in town and the surrounding area named Buchignani, and we never socialized with any of them. My mother’s explanation was that “We’re not related to them.” By the 1990s there were 39 Buchignani families in Sonoma County. There were 160 in California. But, of course, we were not related to any of them.

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Richard Buchignani, Veteran

Richard Buchignani was 17 years old when he graduated from Healdsburg High School in June of 1942. His first order of business was to begin his attempts to join the military so that he could participate directly in the war effort. He was able to get his mother, Eva Giorgi Buchignani, to sign his under-age application to join the Coast Guard on July 7, 1942. While he waited for that to be processed, he took a job at the shipbuilding facility on Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Giorgi Family Wedding Photos

Giacomo Giorgi and Agnese Giancoli were both were born in the small town of Boveglio in the Tuscany region of Italy. They spent their life together in the farming town of Healdsburg, California where they raised a family. For more about their immigration story click [here]

We are so very fortunate to have wedding photos for Giacomo and Agnese Giorgi and all their children. Hover over an image to see the caption or click on the image to enlarge.

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