The Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor is a fine art museum located in the Presidio in San Francisco. If you know me well, you know that I studied Art History in college and have a love of art and architecture. The Legion of Honor is a beautiful combination of both and whether you wanted it or not, here’s a little history of this beautiful building…
A History of The Legion of Honor
The Legion of Honor is an award that was originally given out in France for heroic deeds in battle during the Revolutionary War and a huge source of patriotism for the French. The Musée de la Légion d’honneur is located on the River Seine and it displays a history of France’s honors and medals. The beautiful building was built in the 1780s and was a favorite of Thomas Jefferson, who designed his own home after it.
Panama Pacific International Exposition
Fast forward to 1915 – San Francisco hosted the world’s fair, called the Panama Pacific International Exposition. I studied Art History at the University of San Francisco in 2015 during the 100 year anniversary so I was lucky to get to learn all about the Pan Pacific and browse through hundreds of old photographs and documents from that time. (We set up a display in the college museum and got to pick out what items to include). Basically, the Pan Pacific was a huge fair and tons of buildings were built to showcase architecture and beauty from all over the country and the world. One of the buildings was the Legion of Honor which was a replica of the one in Paris. A wealthy woman fell in love with the building and convinced her husband to construct a permanent replica. (The buildings created for the world fair were built quickly and destroyed after the fair, they weren’t mean to be permanent).
The Legion of Honor Museum Today
In 1924 the Legion of Honor in the Presidio was completed as a fine art museum to “honor the dead while serving the living” and was dedicated to Californians who lost their lives in France during World War I. You can read more about the history of the museum here. The museum is filled with beautiful European paintings and is one of my favorite museums to visit. The museum is currently closed so weren’t able to enter the courtyard for these photos, however, as you will see, there is plenty of beauty outside of it too.
Maternity Session at the Legion of Honor
Anastasia and I met last year when she created a bouquet for an engagement session I shot at the Sutro Baths. You can see her work here. She is one of the loveliest people and I am so grateful that we crossed paths. She and her husband are expecting a baby in April and I was thrilled when she chose the Legion of Honor for their maternity session. The Legion of Honor is a great place for pictures of couples or families because it’s beautiful and peaceful with lots of space to move around. It makes a pretty incredible backdrop too.
Here are Stacie and Marc’s maternity pictures at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco…