Set on a hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge is the Legion of Honor. The French neoclassical building houses a collection of ancient and European art spanning four millennia of history. The museum represents a legacy of philanthropy and civic pride.
The Legion of Honor was built in Lincoln Park to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I. As part of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Legion's collections include Rodin's Thinker, prominently sitting in the museum's Court of Honor; European decorative arts and paintings; ancient art; and one of the country's largest collections of prints and drawings. Each collection offers unique perspectives of the historical, political, and social movements of the past 4,000 years. In addition to the museum's permanent collections, there are also temporary exhibits throughout the year to enjoy.
Residents of the Bay Area counties can now enjoy free general admission to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco every Saturday. Entrance includes family-friendly art experiences, family art-making, gallery guides, gallery tours with discussion groups, and sketching in the permanent collection galleries.
Every Saturday afternoon, museum visitors are treated to a free organ concert. Internationally-known principal organist Jonathan Dimmock plays on the spectacular Spreckles Organ crafted by one of America's most distinguished organ builders. The Spreckles Organ was built in 1924 by the Ernest M. Skinner Organ Company of Boston and gifted to the Legion for its opening in 1924. Skinner worked in tandem with museum architect George Applegarth to create a customized plan to integrate the 4,526 pipes within the museum's structure seamlessly. The Spreckles Organ is an excellent example of Skinner's famous technique of building organs whose sounds imitate orchestral colors.
Cover image: “California Palace of the Legion of Honor” by saiko is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.