San Francisco Museums

May 20th, 2003, 12:49 AM
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San Francisco Museums

I am going to San Jose later this month to see friends for a long weekend and I'm interested in what you all think of museums in San Francisco such as the Asian Art Museum, Palace of the Legion of Honor, MOMA, etc. How do these or other San Francisco museums compare to Washington DC art musuems such as the Phillips Collection, Freer Gallery of Art or the National Gallery of Art? I visited them last week and was thoroughly impressed with each. How difficult will it be to find a parking spot? I assume none offer free parking right?
Happs is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 09:57 AM
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I've been to the Legion of Honor and MOMA. Both definitely worth going to. The Legion of Honor is in a beautiful park setting and lots of free parking. MOMA is in the center of the City so I'm not sure about their parking.
Veronica is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 10:17 AM
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The Asian Art Museum has a collection that lives up to it's new surroundings (designed by the architect who did the Musee D'Orsay) and is certainly worth a visit; in my opinion the collection at MOMA does not match the building but the building itself is very interesting. (Reminds me of the Guggenheim NYC in that respect--interesting building, so so art). The Legion of Honor does not compare favorably to the National, I don't think many museums in the US other than the Metropolitan in NYC do, however the location cannot be beat and sometimes it has interesting exhibits.
Parking: Legion free, MOMA and AAM paid public parking lots nearby.
SAB is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 10:26 AM
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I think one of the best ways to get an idea of what a museum has to offer is to visit its website. Most give you an overview of their collections and will tell up about special exhibitions. Since I take trips to see special exhibitions I visit lots of museum websites to see what they will be showing, so even if the permanent collection is not to my liking or in my opinion not worth a special visit, I may find a special exhibition that is.
SAB is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 10:34 AM
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The Legion of Honor is definably "worth" a visit. Although it's not on the same scale as the National Gallery (not many are) it has an impressive permanent collection (and be sure to check to see what special exhibits are on during your visit). Also, you can tour the museum early and have lunch in the small cafe. Their website is: Have a wonderful visit!
Margie is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 10:45 AM
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And take some extra film to the Legion because you can get some good photos of the GG Bridge from there.

Kal van Gough
(or is it pronouced van "guff" since you're in SF)
Kal is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 10:58 AM
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Not to sound too much like a snob, but if you have been to the Philips, Freer and National Gallery, may not find the Legion's collection in the least bit impressive (and I'm a member). I do think you will find to location to be impressive. But then Art is subjective, one person's masterpiece is another's velvet Elvis.
SAB is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 11:43 AM
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Kal-I thought it was pronounced "gauf" or as cough with a G ?!
Happs-The view from the Legion is fabulous-sometimes the art and the architecture make for a superb experience. MOMA is an interesting venue-a "wrong" building within the context of SF-IME, yet worth a visit to wonder at-it to has a cafe and a wonderful store-no free parking as at the Legion. One caveat about the Legion-the parking can evaporate quickly on weekends-Enjoy Yourself!
May 20th, 2003, 12:53 PM
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Although the Asian Art, Legion of Honor, and MOMA are nice museums, they really don't compare to the ones in DC. I am not sure that it is worth the drive all the way up to SF to see them. If I were you look into several of the museums in San Jose (ie SJ Museum of Art, SJ Institute of Contemporary Art, Rosicrucian, etc.
kam is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 03:18 PM
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Along those lines is the Palace of Fine Arts. But for something a bit different, inside is the Exploratorium. I love all those gadgets and the visual hocus pocus.

DB is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 07:17 PM
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Kam's right. Although the museums you listed are good, there are plenty of museums in San Jose that are worth a visit, especially since you said that you have already been to MOMA, Legion of Honor, and Asian Art Museum least week. It's nice to see something different. To Kams list I would also add the Tech Museum. It's an interesting place even for those who are not tech savvy.
Marny is offline  
May 20th, 2003, 09:17 PM
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Thanks to all who replied. I think I will visit the Iris and Gerald Cantor Museum at Stanford instead and if I have extra time, I'll go to one of the SF museums.
Happs is offline  
Jul 26th, 2004, 12:23 PM
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I went to the new Asian Art Museum first time this Saturday for Geisha exhibit. It was well attended, but not crowded. Very interesting exhibit with lots to see! Same $10 price with the exhibit. Security is high - even my tiny purse was looked into!

From the upper 2 floors the most memorable where oriental gods on the 3rd floor, korean pottery, kimono embroidery, japanese wall hangings and basketry. I did not see much improvement since they've moved, only the building is more contemporary.

Cafe is very good, at least my salmon with mashroom rice was And my hubby enjoyed his BBQ beef. They also have a choice of soups and salads. The line moved fast as they have plenty of menus outside, so ordering wasn't slow. Definitely eat there!
FainaAgain is offline  
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