The Stunning Beauty Within San Francisco’s Legion of Honor
Few art museums can lay claim to such an imposing title as the Legion of Honor. Since Armistice Day, November 11th of 1924, the Legion of Honor has acted as one of the primary fine art museums within the Bay Area. Modeled off of the French Pavilion that was built for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, the museum was supposed to open its doors to the public much sooner, but the First World War delayed this event for several years. When the end of the war brought the beginning of the museum, San Francisco dedicated the building to the soldiers who had perished in the ghastly conflict.
Now, nearly 100 years later, the museum stands as one of the most impressive and comprehensive collections of fine art within the city. Within its illustrious walls lie close to 6,000 years of human history, from the modern to the ancient, composed in all sorts of mediums by artists from across time. Included in this astounding horde of artifacts are works from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. Sculptures, jewelry, pottery, frescos, paintings, a 4,000 year old carving of an Egyptian scribe, and masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt, Titian, Pissaro, Cézanne, van Gogh, El Greco and many others.
In addition to its permanent collection of art, the Legion of Honor contains an enormous symphonic organ which lies within one of the central galleries. The 4,500 pipes of this organ are hidden within the walls of the museum, meaning that the galleries become canvases on which the organist can paint with their aural brush. Concerts on the symphonic organ are held every Saturday at 4:00 in the afternoon, and there are additional musical programs scheduled for certain days throughout the week.
Currently on view at the Legion of Honor are things such as Curious & Wonderful: Selections from the Achenbach Vault. This exhibit focuses on some of the 115,000 paper artworks that the museum holds within its permanent collection, many of which have never been shown before. With a wide variety of creative styles at play, as well as numerous different mediums employed by dozens of different artists, the works being pulled from the Achenbach Vault are truly one-of-a-kind and sure to create lasting impressions and memories.