Last week, we spent the day in San Francisco celebrating my husband’s birthday. The weather has been very wet and cold, but we were blessed with a stunning day in the city. Yes, the temperature was crisp, but the sun shined, warming us like a blanket and creating lovely photos. Even though we’ve visited this iconic city numerous times, I can’t help but take more pictures, especially of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.
Our destination was The Legion of Honor (above top) which stands prominently above the Lincoln Park Golf Course. If you’re interested in learning about this fine art museum, I pulled the information below from Wikipedia:
The Legion of Honor displays a collection spanning more than 6,000 years of ancient and European art and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts.
The Hall of Antiquities displays ancient works from Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome, including sculptures, figurines, vessels, jewelry, and carved reliefs. Notable works include a 4,000-year-old carved wood figure of Seneb, an Egyptian royal scribe. The collection is supported in part by the Ancient Art Council, which offers a speakers program focusing on the ancient world.
The museum contains a representative collection of European art, the largest portion of which is French. Its most distinguished collection is of sculpture by Auguste Rodin. Casts of some of his most famous works are on display, including one of The Thinker in the Court of Honor. Other artists in the collection include El Greco, Titian, Rubens, Rembrandt, Boucher, David, Tiepolo, Gainsborough and many of the Impressionists and post-Impressionists—Degas, Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Seurat, Cézanne, van Gogh and others.
The museum’s collection of European Decorative Arts includes a gilded Spanish ceiling from c. 1500; numerous items of furniture, including Horace Walpole’s commode of 1763 from Strawberry Hill House, west of London; and three period rooms, including the Salon Doré from the Hôtel de La Trémoille, Paris, said to be the only complete example of a pre-Revolutionary Parisian salon to be displayed anywhere.
The Bowles Porcelain Gallery displays an array of porcelain and pottery from England and continental Europe with a strong emphasis on the eighteenth century. Adjacent to the gallery is the Ceramic Study Center.
The Contemporary Arts Program, which brings the work of living artists into dialogue with the building and the collections, was inaugurated in 2017 with an exhibition of more than 30 works by Urs Fischer installed throughout the museum. Subsequent exhibitions have featured works and interventions by artists including Lynn Hershman Leeson, Julian Schnabel, Alexandre Singh, and Wangechi Mutu.
Situated off the northwest corner of the Legion grounds is the Holocaust Memorial, a sculptural group of white-painted bronze by George Segal installed in 1984. Although not part of the Legion’s collection, the sculpture is often seen by visitors to the museum.
The Legion of Honor has played a big part in films:
- In the 1952 thriller Sudden Fear, Lester Blaine (Jack Palance) and Irene Neves (Gloria Grahame) have a clandestine rendezvous at a Bach organ recital at the Legion of Honor.
- The museum plays a major part in the Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo (1958) when Scottie (played by James Stewart) follows Madeleine Elster (played by Kim Novak) to the museum, where she stares at one painting for a considerable time. The painting, a portrait of the fictitious Carlotta Valdes, was a prop created specifically for the production by artist John Ferren and is not housed at the museum.
- The character Dr. Crippen (played by Signe Hasso) in The Black Bird, a 1975 comedy sequel to Maltese Falcon, has an office in the Legion of Honor.
- The exterior of the museum appears in several scenes in Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain (1992).
- The Legion of Honor appears in the 1993 miniseries Tales of the City, based on the first of the Tales of the City series of novels by Armistead Maupin. The character of Mary Ann Singleton (played by Laura Linney) arranges to meet her neighbor Norman Neal Williams (played by Stanley DeSantis) at the museum.
As much as I’d love to detail each photo, time won’t allow, so I hope you enjoy these visuals. The slideshow below presents only a fraction of the paintings, sculptures, furniture, architecture, porcelain, and silver.
We spent most of the day at the museum, but when we finished perusing each room, we walked around the grounds, enjoying the greenery of the Lincoln Park Golf Course (above photos). After leaving The Legion of Honor, we drove through Ocean Beach, pulled over to look at the view, and between the soothing colors of the ocean and that bright blue sky, we were in awe. More photos! And of course, a selfie was necessary, especially one of me sneaking in a kiss for the birthday boy.
As we were leaving and since I was driving, my hubby took some photos of the bridge (again, we can’t have too many). Then we took a slow drive through a picturesque coastal town and stopped at a cool bar on the bay and enjoyed the serenity from the stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. Before we left this beautiful spot, we walked out on the pier for more photos. Because fog and wind pay frequent visits to San Francisco, we truly lucked out with the weather on this celebratory February day. So, when I think of an adjective to describe this Saturday in the city, the word that comes to mind is Glorious! Cheers!
I hope you enjoyed this little slice of San Francisco.
Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely weekend ahead. ❤️
© Lauren Scott, baydreamerwrites – All rights reserved.
All photos taken by me.