Impressionism at the de Young and Legion of Honor

The last couple of weekends we took advantage of our museum memberships and went to a few art exhibits in San Francisco. If you’re in the area, definitely check out the major Impressionism exhibits, one of which closes on Labor Day: Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay at the de Young. [Update (September 3): I just read that tickets for the final days are now sold out. Read on for other available exhibits.]

The Legion of Honor, which has same-day admission reciprocity with the de Young, has a companion exhibit called Impressionist Paris: City of Light, closing September 26. The de Young exhibit definitely had the marquee paintings, but I actually found the Legion of Honor exhibit a bit more quirky and interesting with its variety of posters, book illustrations, and so forth, in addition to paintings.

And if you can’t get enough Impressionism, just wait, there’s more! Both museums will have additional related exhibits later this fall and into the new year.

We also went to SFMOMA for Calder to Warhol: Introducing the Fisher Collection (closes September 19), a wide-ranging exhibition with works by the modern greats.

All these museums are beautiful buildings and sites in their own right and a great way to spend an afternoon in the city. Food note: After the de Young, go have a meal at Park Chow and for dessert get the warm ginger cake with pumpkin ice cream. It’s de rigueur in my book.

Hillwood Museum and Gardens

Neat, a photo of mine is being used on a new city guide website called DestinationGuide. It’s on their page for the Hillwood Museum and Gardens in Washington, D.C. Hillwood, the former estate of Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, is a great place to check out and spend an afternoon if you’re in the area; they even have a Gay Day every summer. By the way, the other day I came across a New York Times article about Washington estate museums, and at the “top of the heap” is Hillwood.

Here’s my photo:

Scrolls

More photos from our visit to Hillwood back in August 2005 are up on Flickr.

Park Chalet

Last Sunday Thom and I ended up having an impromptu afternoon at a few westside San Francisco spots. We were looking for a place to have brunch, and we decided on the Park Chalet, which is just behind its more visible sibling, the Beach Chalet, on Great Highway. They have a buffet brunch on Sundays; I think my favorite thing was the crème brûlée french toast, yum.

Afterward we went across the street to Ocean Beach and walked around for a bit, then drove up to the Legion of Honor museum, where we happened to arrive just as the weekly organ concert was starting. All great sights, so that means another video! And a few additional photos (map) are up on Flickr.

When I tested the video with my focus group, i.e., Thom, he said the music for the Ocean Beach segment was “very 90210.” Ha!