I’ve lived in the bay about three years now and have never ventured up that big ass hill to visit the Legion of Honor museum until now. Boy was I missing out! The Legion of Honor is one of the famed Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and probably gets thousands of visitors a day.
Not only did I not have to pay to get in (every first Tuesday of the month is F-R-E-E) but for the price of nada I got to get within inches of some of the most renowned artistic masterpieces in the history of the WORLD. (Okay so you are supposed to stay a least a foot back, but I’ve never been one for rules. They once tried to kick me out of the Andy Warhol Museum for taking pictures. Bah Humbug, I say!)
As you walk into the courtyard of the museum entrance you are greeted by the immense sculpture of Auguste Rodin’s “The Thinker”. I’m pretty sure this is just a copy, and the original is in France, but very cool anyway. I made my way in, grabbed a map, and began to circulate.
At first I thought these were just prints, but upon closer inspection, you can actually see the blobs of paint and brush strokes of Degas, Goya, Watteau, Rembrandt and many others, that are hundreds of years old . It’s astonishing to me that so many of these works have lasted so long through world wars, and fires, and floods.
Aren’t some of these pieces supposed to be in the Louvre and not in little old San Francisco? Who knew? Monet’s “Water Lilies” (one of my favorites) was stunning up close, and much bigger than I thought.
And talk about big. Rubens’ “The Tribute Money” was so large I put my hand out to get paid.
Take the time out to roam it for a few hours. Since I was pressed for time, I didn’t get to fully enjoy the place, but it is spectacular. Just don’t go setting your notebooks on any tables. Turns out, I was trying to take notes on an 18th century Italian oak table…Oops! (I know, I know, I’m going to be the pariah of museums across the country.)
Check out their website for special exhibitions and ticket prices.