Legion of Honor

Museum in Golden Gate Park & the Avenues

Image by Paul Ferzoco 500px Images

A museum as eccentric and illuminating as San Francisco itself, the Legion showcases a wildly eclectic collection ranging from Monet water lilies to John Cage soundscapes, ancient Iraqi ivories to R Crumb comics. Upstairs are blockbuster shows of old masters and Impressionists, but don't miss selections from the Legion's Achenbach Foundation of Graphic Arts collection of 90,000 works on paper, ranging from Rembrandt to Ed Ruscha. Ticket price includes free same-day entry to the de Young Museum.

The Legion, a marble-clad replica of Paris' Légion d'Honneur, is a monumental tribute to Californians killed in France in WWI. It was built by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, a larger-than-life sculptor's model who donated her fortune to gift this museum to San Francisco. The centerpiece of 'Big Alma's' legacy is Rodin's The Kiss – but at 4pm at weekends, pipe-organ recitals steal the show in the Rodin gallery.


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