The Legion of Honor Exhibition Schedule 2012–2013

Legion of Honor

San Francisco, October 2012––The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco present a diverse roster of upcoming exhibitions in 2012 and 2013 at the Legion of Honor. Dates are subject to change. For access to the most current schedule of exhibitions, please consult the exhibition pages of the Legion of Honor website.

Marcel Duchamp: The Book and the Box
Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books
July 14, 2012–November 11, 2012

The rarely seen Boîte en Valise (1941) and Sur Marcel Duchamp (1959) take center stage in this small-focus exhibition featuring seven artworks by Marcel Duchamp (1877–1968) that refuse to conform to traditional bibliographic structure, hovering between book, objet d’art, and sculpture. The Boîte for example is a leather suitcase that contains miniature replicas, photographs, and color reproductions of Duchamp’s other works. Another work defying categorization is the catalogue of the exhibition Le Surrealisme in 1947 with its Duchamp-designed cover of a hand-colored foam-rubber breast mounted on a piece of irregularly shaped black velvet.

The exhibition complements the presentation of Man Ray | Lee Miller, Partners in Surrealism. Ray and Duchamp were friends and collaborators for over 50 years. Ray’s photographs of Duchamp and Duchamp’s “readymades” are included in the Boîte en Valise, Sur Marcel Duchamp, and Monte Carlo Bond (1924/1938); the cover of the magazine Minotaur (1935) shows one of Duchamp’s “rotoreliefs” superimposed on Man Ray’s photograph Dust Breeding (1920).

Gifts from the Gods: Art and the Olympic Ideal
July 28, 2012–January 27, 2013

This exhibition, coinciding with the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, draws together outstanding examples of art related to the Olympics from its ancient roots until today, revealing the continuity of the Olympic ideal and the rich and diverse expressions of the body in motion. Masterpieces of Greek and Roman coinage that celebrate the Olympic Games, the gods, and the victorious athletes are supplemented by additional works of art from the museums’ collections inspired by modern-day Olympics.

Royal Treasures from the Louvre: Louis the XIV to Marie-Antoinette
November 17, 2012–March 17, 2013

Royal Treasures from the Louvre: From Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette is the story of French royal patronage, and the showcased objects in the exhibition are nothing less than dazzling: the Gobelins manufactory’s masterwork mosaic tabletop of semiprecious stones; the gemmes de la couronne, precious hard stone vases collected by Louis XIV; the presents du Roi, diamond-and-gem snuffboxes made for the royal family to present as gifts; personal items made for Louis XV’s private use, or for use by his mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, including exquisite Sèvres porcelain and silver; and Marie-Antoinette’s personal collection of precious vases made of agate and other hard stones.

Many of the objects in the exhibition have never been shown in the United States and several have never left France. Royal Treasures from the Louvre: From Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette is an unparalleled collection of decorative objects from France’s most illustrious royalty, direct from the Musée du Louvre, and displayed for the first time in the United States in this exclusive presentation.

A Museum Menagerie
Part 1: November 17–April 29 | Part 2: April 30–October 14

Depictions of animals are some of the earliest known artistic efforts, dating back to the Paleolithic Era. From sustenance to companionship, animals play a variety of roles in our lives and inspire a range of emotions—fear, love, awe—as well as a host of symbolic associations.

A Museum Menagerie draws from the vast resources of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts to produce a compelling portrait of the animal world, represented in a wide array of cultures, artistic styles, and media, from about AD 1500 to the present. Some of the artists included in this exhibition have drawn their subjects from life, depicting the roles they play in our everyday experience, while others have used animals with symbolic intent or have anthropomorphized them to humorous, playful, or even unsettling ends.

Part one of the two-part exhibition focuses on creatures both domestic (dogs, horses, rabbits) and exotic (elephants, monkeys, camels). Part two examines fish, fowl, insects, cats, and rodents. Seen together, these works reveal the breathtaking variety not only in the animal kingdom, but also in humanity’s artistic interpretations of it.

Darren Waterston and Mark Doty: A Compendium of Creatures
Reva and David Logan Gallery of Illustrated Books
March 30, 2013–December 29, 2013 

The Achenbach Graphic Arts Council announces its first portfolio publication, A Swarm, A Flock, A Host: A Compendium of Creatures. Comprising 12 prints by noted artist Darren Waterston and text plates featuring a poem by award-winning writer Mark Doty, the publication is a contemporary version of a medieval bestiary. The entire portfolio will be on view in the Logan Gallery, including all 12 color aquatints by Waterston, a title page, decorated text plates, and the portfolio cover, also designed by the artist.

The bestiary is both a literary and an illustrative form in which a number of known animal species—as well as mythological creatures—are catalogued encyclopedically. As a genre, the medieval bestiary constituted a natural history of creation that frequently included moralizing allegories, with the animal kingdom providing apt symbols for human behavior. In this modern bestiary Waterston depicts silhouetted animal and plant forms in emotionally charged configurations meant to be as menacing as they are playful.

Impressionists on the Water
June 1, 2013 –October 13, 2013

Organized by the Fine Arts Museums to coincide with San Francisco’s hosting of the America's Cup, Impressionists on the Water explores the significant role sailing played in the lives of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Works by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Théo van Rysselberghe, Pierre Bonnard, and others reveal the artists’ deep understanding of and engagement with the new sport of pleasure boating and competition. Paintings on loan from international collections including the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and private collections are joined by paintings and works on paper from the Fine Arts Museums’ own holdings.

Guest curators Christopher Lloyd, formerly keeper of Queen Elizabeth II’s collection; Phillip Dennis Cate, former director of the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University; and renowned marine historian Daniel Charles illuminate the personal interactions of leading French artists with yachting and, more broadly, underscore the important role that access to the sea and extensive inland waterways played in the development of the art, culture, and commercial health of France.

Legion of Honor Visitor Information
The Legion of Honor’s Beaux-Arts style building designed by George Applegarth is located on a bluff overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. Its collections span 4,000 years and include European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West.