San Francisco is known for its many museums. The City by the Bay is most famous for its art museums. The California Palace of the Legion of Honor is one of the best art museums not only in the city but also in the entire western US. While the California Palace of the Legion of Honor is only 3/4 the size of the original Palais de la Legion d’Honneur it is no less impressive. The Legion on Honor houses many beautiful pieces of art and is itself located in a beautiful location on a hill in Lincoln Park with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge, at least when the fog is not to thick.
One of the most famous works of art that the Legion of Honor has is an original statue of Rodin’s Le Pensuer more commonly known in the English speaking world as The Thinker. There are actually slightly over twenty original statues of The Thinker and many copies California has an amazing three of the original . The statue that is at the Legion of Honor is located in the courtyard and is one of the original statues. The Thinker is an appropriate statue to have in front of the Legion of Honor because there is a large number of Rodin’s work housed in the Legion of Honor. There are more pieces by Rodin then any other artist in the museum. Rodin’s work occupies multiple rooms in the museum so if you are a Rodin fan you will enjoy a trip here.
As some of you may know often museums and libraries have the odd schedule of being closed on Mondays and the Legion of Honor is on such museum that follows this schedule. If you are going to San Francisco and only plan to go for one day but plan to see the Legion of Honor you should make sure to not go on a Monday. The museum entrance vary from $6 for students and children to as much as $10 for adults. Special exhibits may cost more though.
The museum is two stories with the main entrance being on the second floor. When you enter you can take the stairs down to the first floor where the gift shop, special exhibits, and cafeteria are located. Along the halls of the second floor you will see the museums collection of antiquities which includes Greek, Roman, and Egyptian pieces.
The upstairs houses the vast European art collection which is split up into different locations by style. One of the best things about the Legion of Honor is unlike many museums that may focus on one particular form of art the Legion of Honor houses most kinds of art. The museum also has a great collection including some of the most well known artist such as El Greco, Rembrandt, Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Gainsborough, and Picasso to name only a few. Not only does the museum have the works of famous masters but it also has some works that are famous themselves such as The Thinker, El Greco’s St. John the Baptist, and Monet’s Waterlilies.
If you go to only one art museum in San Francisco this is the art museum to see unless you have a particular kind of art that you like the most and there is a museum for it in the city. The Legion of Honor is a great museum that you should take your time when going to so that you can see and appreciate all the works, you should allow at least one hour here.