Visit the  Legion of Honor MuseumLegion of Honor Museum

The Legion of Honor Museum located at 100 34th Avenue in San Francisco, CA is what I would consider my home museum. It’s the museum I go to when I want to experience the familiar, to feel comfortable with art I know I love.

Awed by the surrounding sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay, I first visited this museum back in the year 2000 when my kids were young. We joined then, as members, and visited several times a year. I wanted my children to grow up appreciating art and to respect it.

I’ve visited often over the years, going back again and again to see my favorite sculptures, my favorite paintings. The outer courtyard is graced with a large Auguste Rodin sculpture of The Thinker. Inside is a gallery of Rodin sculptures, exemplifying both strength and grace. But my favorite sections are the painting galleries, how one opens unto another and how, at the far end, hangs Claude Monet’s beloved Water Lilies.

I like to start in the gallery furthest from it, to see it from a distance as I view other art, slowly working my way toward it. Appreciating the beauty of portraits and landscapes, I move closer and closer toward the art of the French Impressionists. I was first exposed to Impressionism in my high school French class. It was when I first knew I loved art. The Water Lilies grow larger as I step through each gallery until I stand before it and just gaze, delighted.

Shop the Legion of Honor MuseumOn my last visit to the Legion of Honor, Monet’s painting was on loan to the de Young Museum across the city. I was surprised not to see it. It’s always there. I had just happened to visit on a rare weekend when it was not. Disappointed, but understanding the importance of sharing art between museums, I needed somehow to take it home with me. So I bought a mug, featuring Monet’s Water Lilies, in the gift shop.

Recommendation: Legion of Honor Museum