Aug. 31st, 2011

San Francisco Museums Featuring Several 17th Century Shows This Season

Photo Courtesy of the Legion of Honor Museum
San Francisco has for recent decades, been a haven for emerging artists and their craft, but this fall the works of 17th century European artists are popping up all over the city. Several of the large world-renowned museums here, and one smaller yet superb venue, are currently exhibiting the works of many big-name Dutch, Flemish, and French artists.

Within the sprawling gardens and forests of Golden Gate Park, the deYoung Museum’s show “Picasso: Masterpieces From the Musee National Picasso, Paris” offers visitors a look at 150 works from the famous artist. The show goes well-beyond the cubism phase that he is most known for, as it is his realist paintings people are talking about. Many of the works are small in stature but immense in impact, like the post World War I pieces “Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race)” and “Still Life With Pitcher and Apples.”

Resting high above the city in the Legion of Honor is the collection of “Dutch and Flemish Masterworks.” This exhibit is pieced together from the acquisitions of Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo, and presents ordinary life made incredibly significant through various lighting techniques. Rembrandts and Brueghels adorn the walls, as well as a stunning, life-like landscape of the city of Amsterdam by van der Heyden.

Fans of the written word will be delighted by “Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories” at the Contemporary Jewish museum. This exhibit follows the San Francisco local’s life as a writer and poet, and displays original manuscripts and documents from her professional life, in addition to photographs and depictions of her personal life with her partner, Alice B. Toklas.

The main attraction of all these shows comes as no surprise from the SFMOMA. Gertrude Stein and her brother spent much of their lives in Paris, and were immersed in the works of the artists there. Thanks to their social circles that included many of today’s most recognizable names, they formed an exquisite collection of pieces from Matisse, Picasso, Cezanne, Renior and Bonnard. Much of their collection has been dispersed throughout the world of art collectors, but the SFMOMA’s curatorial team has done an excellent job of reuniting them in the heart of the city.

For more information about tickets and schedules, check out the appropriate museum’s website:

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