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First, Impressionists…

Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco

The last few weeks have been pretty hectic, so my wife and I took today off. First on today’s agenda were paintings. sketches, and pastels by four “Women Impressionists” (Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, and Marie Bracquemond) at the exhibit (it runs through September 21) of the same name at the Palace of the Legion of Honor (photo above), in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. Then we also viewed an exhibit of portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ends August 10) and other archeological wonders from the same region, from the Israeli Antiquities Authority, also at the Legion of Honor.

We are members of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, since we love the arts, but also since teachers have reduced rates of membership fees. Today’s mini-vacation reminded me again what a pleasure it is to live so close to a “world-class” city like San Francisco. The day was cool for summer, even in San Francisco. The fog was playing tag with the coast.

The Impressionist exhibit was fantastic and brought together works from museums and private collections all over the world. If you live near San Francisco or are visiting during the exhibit, and like Impressionism, plan a visit.

How can you describe the Dead Sea Scrolls? I believe that this is closest I will be to them (actually, that they will be to me) during my lifetime. The two fragments included one from Genesis. The other treasures from the Israeli Antiquities Authority were also inspiring, and the room took on a solemn and hushed atmosphere, even for a museum. The ancient works came to us from thousands of years B.C.E., some from civilizations about which the only things known are the artifacts and the locations at which they were found.

We rounded out our visit to the Legion of Honor with stops at some favorite sculptures and paintings (Rodin‘s “The Kiss,” “Sculptor and Muse,” “The Fallen Angel,” Monet‘s “Water Lilies,” Picasso‘s “The Orator” and “Skull, Leeks, and Pitcher”). I looked in vain for Rodin’s “A Call to Arms,” although I did not conduct an exhaustive search. One of the exciting and sometimes exasperating things about museums is that they keep moving exhibited pieces, in a sort of visual “chess” with visitors.

After the long hike (downhill this time) back to our vehicle, we stopped at Baker Beach (also the location of Battery Chamberlain) for a few minutes to watch the Golden Gate. We noticed signs that restricted parking this weekend, for the San Francisco Marathon on Sunday, August 3. Once again, a “world-class” city…

After Baker Beach, we decided to travel down Highway 1, past Ocean Beach, through Pacifica, Devil’s Slide, and Moss Beach, to a late lunch/early supper at Barbara’s Fishtrap in Princeton-by-the-Sea, where the food was as good as always (not an endorsement).

Before heading for home, we stopped for awhile at Pescadero State Beach to partially satisfy our needs for “ocean” and to watch the waves.

The day had been rich, full, and inspirational. We turned our vehicle toward home.

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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