Legion of Honor - San Francisco
The Legion of Honor museum was given to the people of San Francisco by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels on Armistice Day in 1924 to honor the Californians who died during World War I. It’s one of our favorite museums – inside and out. Panoramic San Francisco Bay views from the museum are breathtaking, especially on a fog-free sunny day.
Ancient & European Art – and Sculptures by Rodin
The museum houses a collection of 4,000 years of European arts and paintings, Ancient art, and one of the largest collections of prints and drawings in the country. The museum’s Rodin Gallery (three rooms) features the largest selection of Rodin sculptures outside of the Musée Rodin in Paris. Audio tours are available for the permanent collections and featured exhibitions. Docent tours are offered at specific times free of charge.
“The Thinker” Bronze Sculpture by Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker” (my favorite sculpture… and perhaps his best-known work), stands – or rather sits – at the museum’s entrance. Visitors will also notice a small glass pyramid evoking the main entrance to another famous Parisian landmark, the Louvre.
Rodin’s most famous works include The Thinker, The Kiss, Eve, St. John the Baptist Preaching, The Burghers of Calais, and The Age of Bronze.
The striking sculpture, titled “The Holocaust” by the late George Segal, was installed outside the Legion of Honor in 1984. The memorial features a group of bronze human figures – behind barbed wire – representing prisoners at Nazi concentration camps. The haunting Memorial is located opposite the museum, by the main parking area and fountain.
“Cartier and America” exhibit at Legion of Honor
One of our all-time favorite exhibits at the museum was “Cartier and America.” Cartier celebrated its 100th year in America anniversary with this eye-catching exhibit. The jewelry and works of art included pieces from the Private Collection of Cartier. The dazzling exhibit featured a spectacular array of more than 200 objects, including jewelry of the Gilded Age and Art Deco periods. Standout pieces included Liz Taylor’s fabulous ruby and diamond necklace, bracelet and earrings. Also on display were exquisite brooches from the Duchess of Windsor and Princess Grace of Monaco’s breathtaking 10.47-carat emerald-cut diamond engagement ring.
The Legion of Honor is located in Lincoln Park at 34th Avenue and Clement Street. Open Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Mondays. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Visit the museum’s website for more info on admission fee, hours, collections, exhibits and special events.