We took a trip to the The Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park in San Francisco and to be honest we hadn’t researched it beforehand and had assumed it was a Military type museum given the museums name. We were initially surprised and a little disappointed to find that it actually a Fine Arts Museum but once we discovered it housed some of Rodins most famous works then we couldn’t wait to get inside.
The Legion of Honor was given as a gift to the people of San Francisco by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels on Armistice Day in 1924 to honour the Californians who died during World War 1 – hence why we were confused to begin with.
The museum is an extensive collection of mainly European art and the artwork is split into rooms depending on the type and period of art. For example one room may contain 17th Century Dutch and Flemish Paintings, another will contain Medieval, Renaissance, and Mannerism Art, other collections include 18th-20th century Neoclassical through to Post Impressionist Art (think Goya, Cezanne, Renoir, Monet). However the Piece de Resistance in our eyes was the collection of Auguste Rodin sculptures. At the museum entrance stands The Thinker, then once inside we marvelled at sculptures such as The Kiss, and The Three Shades amongst many others.
Outside the museum you can walk around and if its not too foggy you can get great views over to the Golden Gate Bridge. You can also visit the Holocaust Memorial which evoked a whole range of emotions within us. Ranging from initial shock at what is in front of you, to sadness when you think about what people suffered, then the surge of determination and strength that makes you think this cannot be allowed to happen again, this then turns into worry as you think about the world we live in today and all the different wars going on and the people that are suffering, and then strangely the last emotion is a strong feeling of love as you slowly turn and walk away holding tightly onto your partner/friend/family vowing always to love and protect them. Truly this is a harrowing but thought provoking memorial.