Previously named the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Legion of Honor is an aspect of the San Francisco Museums of Fine Arts. The name is used for both the building of the museum and the museum collections.
The Legion of Honor started as a French pavilion in the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition of San Francisco. The actual museum was subsequently constructed in the likeness of the pavilion.
The collections of the Legion of Honor are made up of more than 124,000 works of art. The museum is internationally recognized for its European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The Legion of Honor contains one of the largest collections of the country’s paper works and other Asian art collections from the near east and the Mediterranean.
The Legion of Honor’s elegant Beaux-Arts architecture contains large, rich and astonishing galleries of European paintings. The paintings are well over 800 and they include works from the 14th century through the 20th century. Most of the painting works are from Europe’s top masters such as Picasso, Angelico, and many others.
Among the permanent collections of the Legion of Honor are the French arts of the 18th and 19th centuries. These French collections are influenced by Alma de Bretteville Spreckels and Adolph B who were founders of the museum.
Among the founding collections of the museum are the European Decorative Arts and Sculptures, which include works of the famous Auguste Rodin. Some of the other collections include Cellini’s Cosimo de’ Medici, a Spanish ceiling that dates back to the 14th century, French furniture that dates back to the 18th century, three French period rooms, sculptures by Clodion and Houdon, the Fabergé tea table and tea service, the English porcelain’s Bowles collections, and the Granducal Florence’s hardstone panel.
The Legion of Honor has been exhibiting ancient arts since it was founded. The founder of the museum considered antiques to be very important in the museum and therefore furnished the Legion of Honor with varieties of astonishing ancient objects.
Ancient works that covers a wide chronological and geographical range across the basin of the ancient Mediterranean from places like Egypt, Rome, Greece, Etruria, Aegean Islands, and the near East has been added to the Legion of Honor over the years.
The collections from Egypt, Rome, Greece and the near East in particular are great examples of art works from the early civilization days. They are very rare historical arts of extremely high importance and quality.
The objects of ancient art exhibits at the museum include sculptures, jewelry, statues, vases, vessels, figurines and carved reliefs made of marbles, gold, bronze, stones, wood, terracotta, and glass.
The care and conservation of the Legend of Honor’s art works is basically the responsibility of the San Francisco Fine Art Museums. The conservation involves the documentation, examination, treatment, and preservations of art works in the Fine Art Museum of San Francisco.