Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco

While in San Francisco I visited one of my favorite museums which I see every trip to California, The Legion of Honor museum.  While on this trip I went primarily to see the newly restored Salon Dore and the coverage on its restoration, I was happy to revisit old favorites as well. (more on the Salon Dore in a later post).
This museum has everything going for it in my book; the architecture is modeled on the Hotel de Salm in Paris, the collections span everything from porcelain, Egyptian relics, decorative arts and paintings from the golden age of Europe, and the views of San Francisco and the bay from the hilltop location are stunning.
 The entry is a long procession between the gallery wings past one of Rodin's 'The Thinker' sculptures.
 Inside each gallery houses a different genre of art so there really is something for everyone!
Each gallery also has its own color scheme -the English Country house room is a striking red.
 One of the period rooms featured excellent natural wood and gilded boiseries.
The stunning Italian rock crystal chandelier dates to 1730 and was a gift to the museum from Madame Jacques Balsan, nee Consuelo Vanderbilt.
 I loved how the case protecting this lovely terra cotta lady allowed her to gaze upon herself in reflection.
 Rodin's works are to be found throughout the museum.
The most stunning item in the collection though has to be the polychromed Spanish wood ceiling from around 1500 - gasps are literally heard as one walks into the gallery.  Be sure to visit the Legion of Honor museum whilst in San Francisco!

15 comments:

home before dark said...

This is one of our favorite places too. We always make it our Sunday excursion. This painting is at the top of my list: https://www.google.com/search?q=the+russian+bride+attire+legion+of+honor&es_sm=119&qscrl=1&tbm=isch&imgil=I4lz57UpyM0

ArchitectDesign™ said...

yes the crowd at that painting was enormous! definitely one of the favorite pieces in the museum.

Paisley Curtain said...

Greetings! Have never visited the museum, will make sure to visit on next visit to San Francisco.

Beth Scanlon said...

I like seeing the Legion of Honor through your eyes, very nice pictures, and look forward to reading your thoughts on the Salon Dore.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Paisley -you will LOVE it!! Seriously right up your alley.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Beth, so happy to hear from you - I admire your work and company so much!
The Salon Dore did not disappoint post restoration and I think it will make an interesting post for those not familiar with the room. I'm going to try to see if I can find my pictures of it before restoration (deep in my files somewhere) to compare and contrast.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

I have never been to this museum but I sense I would enjoy it. Wonderful share. We have a Rodin museum in Philadelphia, beautiful museum, tiny in scale, stunning in it's collections.
Vera

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Row Homes - I LOVE the Rodin museum -the building is a jewel box. I blogged about it in 2011 when I visited -you can see the link here
http://www.architectdesign.blogspot.com/2011/10/rodin-museum.html

The Swan said...

My dear friends' grandmother built this museum...and years ago her portrait was hanging in the entrance...nowhere to be found now! She was a friend of Isadora Duncan and Rodin, having been his best client as well as bringing over to the USA the largest collection of his work. Mrs. Spreckels gave so much to SF, that to this day, she oversees all from her perch atop the column in Union Square.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Swan, the portrait has been reinstated! I saw it in one of the main circulation areas - it's either in the sculpture court room or right in the main entry.

The Swan said...

This is good news...wonder when this happened, perhaps with the opening of the Salon Dore`

The Swan said...

This is good news...wonder when this happened, perhaps with the opening of the Salon Dore`?

Chronica Domus said...

Thrilled to bits you made it to my favorite local museum. It really is a beautiful building, exactly as it should be unlike the dismally updated de Young.

Hels said...

"Legion of Honour: Inside and Out", by Anne Heath Karlstrom 2013, talked about Alma using the Spreckels money to embark on an extravagant lifestyle, travelling across France, experiencing French culture and building a huge French chateau back in the USA. I wish I had read the book before visiting the fabulous Legion of Honour last year.

Thanks for the photos and the link
Hels
http://melbourneblogger.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/french-art-and-architecture-in-san.html

Nancy {at} powellbrower at home said...

So thrilled to see the inside of this museum that I haven't had to pleasure of visiting! It is gorgeous inside and out! xo Nancy