Monday, February 16, 2009

San Randomcisco.

Just a few leftovers from my trip to San Francisco. First, Rodin at the Legion of Honor. The Legion of Honor largely exists because of Alma Spreckles. Not only did she concoct the plan to build the museum, she also convinced her husband to pay for it. She was also an avid collector of the sculptures of Auguste Rodin. She donated it all, the building and her Rodin collection to the City of San Francisco. There are very few places on the planet where you can see this much work by the guy that some call the father of modern sculpture.
There are plenty of known works. In addition to The Thinker, you’ll also find The Age of Bronze (one of my favorite works from a recent UMFA show) and The Kiss, the only work that the BYU Museum of Art refused display when a traveling Rodin exhibit recently stopped in Provo.
I also liked some of the smaller, unknown works, many of which were studies for other sculptures. I particularly liked the hands.Just outside The Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park is this sculpture. I'm pretty sure it’s a copy of something famous. I should probably know what it is but I don’t. Nonetheless, I liked it.
We also spent some time at the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. I read the garden is trying to find funds to renovate the current buildings. I suppose it's necessary but I loved the way the buildings in the park are showing their age. And the gardens are beautifully tended. This is definitely a worthwhile stop.
And finally, because it was the big Chinese New Year celebration while we were in San Fran
cisco, we decided to pay a visit to China Town. I hadn’t been to China Town in decades. It was more fun than expected. We stopped in a little dive bar where we met a couple of Canadians whose ideas about Utahans were hilarious. And we spent plenty of time looking for “year of the bull” and other Chinese trinkets. Sometimes it’s fun to just be a tourist.

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