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Palace of the Legion of Honor

Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco

(Note added June 6, 2009: It is fitting that I am adding this note on the 65th anniversary of D-Day. I actually love the Palace of the Legion of Honor so much that I ACCIDENTALLY wrote about the place AGAIN in 2008! Here is the link with even more information about the California Palace of the Legion of Honor!)

One of my favorite museums in San Francisco, and a member of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, is the Palace of the Legion of Honor. The Palace of the Legion of Honor is a 3/4-scale adaptation of the 18th century Palais de la Légion d’Honneur in Paris, and displays a collection of 4000 years of ancient and European art on a hill in Lincoln Park, overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, and the Golden Gate. The museum grounds afford a spectacular view of most of San Francisco.

The Legion of Honor was completed on Land’s End in 1924, and opened its doors on Armistice Day of that year. The museum is dedicated to the 3600 California men who lost their lives in France during World War I. From 1992 to 1995, the Legion of Honor underwent seismic strengthening, and an underground expansion that added 35,000 square feet. Rodin‘s “Thinker” (“Le Penseur”) sits in the museum’s Court of Honor, which also is the site of a glass pyramidal skylight, reminiscent of The Louvre. In front of the museum are sculptures of Simón Bolivar and Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc), both on horseback.

In addition to the collections, the museum is the site of traveling exhibitions. Several memorable ones for me included works of PicassoDegasMonet in Normandy, and Georgia O’Keeffe (whose work was originally scheduled to be shown at the de Young, which was under reconstruction at the time).

The Palace of the Legion of Honor has a wonderful store and cafe as well. I love to visit the Legion of Honor, and this brief introduction is only a taste of the treasures to be found there. The museum’s Web site provides the necessary detail to plan your visit.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®.

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