The last time I had come to Golden Gate Park, I visited the California Academy of Sciences and spent a couple of hours touring the newly renovated Academy (even though it’s been well over a year). The very same day, the Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay exhibit was opening up at the de Young Museum, which is situated directly across from the “Academy.” It seems that the Musée d’Orsay is undergoing some refurbishment in preparation for their 25th anniversary in 2011, so they are loaning some pieces from their permanent collection to be exhibited at a number of museums around the world. Although I’ve been to the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, it continues to be one of my favorite museums in the world mainly because of its extensive collection of Impressionist work. I’m an amateur fan of classical art, at best, but I really wanted to check out the exhibit.
I had heard that the exhibit has been wildly popular. Pdho knew some people that had gone during the week and it was incredibly crowded, so given that we had to buy tickets for specific times, Pdho and I decided to head over in the morning and be part of the first group at 9am and it was already pretty packed. Unfortunately, they didn’t let us take any pictures inside the exhibit, but I suppose that is to be expected. The exhibit was really great. There were quite a number of familiar works by Manet, Monet, Renoir, and Degas.
The de Young Museum itself is a very impressive space with very striking architecture. Aside from its copper facade, the most noticeable aspect of the building is the 144 foot tower which offers visitors to its observation floor a panoramic view of San Francisco. Granted, most of the time it so darn cloudy and gloomy in the city especially in the summer that you don’t get to see much… but considering it wasn’t the sunniest of days, the view wasn’t too bad.
All in all, it was a nice day, and I look forward to returning when the 2nd exhibit Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay comes to San Francisco. It seems that the de Young is the only museum with the distinct honor of hosting both exhibits, so I figure I should take advantage of it. It’s a nice exhibit and well worth the trip over to Golden Gate Park.