Saturday, July 02, 2011

How to attend Picasso exhibition in San Francisco

"I'm glad I went."

How I did it: My friend and co-worker Lena and I decided to attend the Picasso exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.  We went on a Friday, our day off, soon after the exhibition opened.  Lena purchased tickets online which would save time once we arrived, and would ensure a specific time to see the exhibition.

We rode BART and Muni to get to Golden Gate Park, then walked to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was my request.  I had been to the DeYoung Museum during the past year but didn't get to go to the Tea Garden that time.

Above: Scenes in the Japanese Tea Garden

We arrived a little too late to take advantage of the free admission, so we paid $7 for the Tea Garden.  Neither of us had been to there in many, many years.  The grounds are beautiful.and it feels cool with the lush vegetation and plenty of shade.  We wandered around for quite some time, admiring different areas, and wondering where the moon bridge was.  Lena had heard that the garden was smaller than before and we were hoping the bridge wasn't gone.

Above: The Moon Bridge

We finally came upon the bridge.  In earlier days we would have climbed it, but now that we're 50-something, that wasn't going to happen.

We stopped at the tea house and ordered lunch.  I wasn't feeling well at all, and ordered miso soup and a 7-up which I figured would be gentle on my topsy-turvy stomach.  Lena ordered little sandwiches which she offered to me, but I declined.  We enjoyed looking at the garden while we ate our lunch.  It was so pretty.  After lunch we wandered a bit more, then headed off to the museum next door.

Our Picasso tickets were for 12:00, but we were able to get in a little early.  There were rooms and rooms of drawings and paintings.  I'm certainly no expert on Picasso and I didn't recognize any of the works.  I enjoyed his earlier pieces, the ones that were more traditional.  The later works aren't my cup of tea.  But I was glad to have the experience of viewing the works of such a legendary artist.  Shortly before the trip I had seen the movie Midnight in Paris, and I kept my eye out for a Picasso painting that was featured in the movie.  Alas, I don't think it was there.

After the Picasso exhibition, we visited other exhibits in the building.  Our $26 ticket for Picasso gave us free entry to anything else in the museum.  In one exhibit there was a large sculpture of a man that Lena thought was Ronald Reagan.  It looked like him, but the title of the piece didn't name him.  Lena asked the guide, who confirmed it was Reagan.  Good one, Lena!

We also strolled through the Balenciaga exhibit with dozens of dresses and gowns by the Spanish designer.  So many beautiful pieces!  This was my favorite part of the museum.

We went through a North American exhibit which I also enjoyed.  Throughout the day I was still not feeling well, and I took several sitting breaks while Lena walked around the room.  I told her to take her time and not to hurry.

Above:  Views of San Francisco from the Tower at the DeYoung Museum

After we'd seen about all the art we wanted to see, we headed up to the tower--recommended by a fellow co-worker.  There are spectacular views of San Francisco from there and it was well worth going up.

After the tower we headed back to the bus stop and then BART for the trip home.  Despite feeling badly all day long, I'm glad I went.  I had a wonderful time with Lena, and my brain has been filled with many seeds of inspiration for the future.

Lessons & tips: For popular exhibits, consider buying tickets online ahead of time.  You can choose the time of day, and having your ticket in hand will save time when you arrive.

Resources: Prior experience on BART and Muni
Prior visit to DeYoung Museum
Friend's recommendation to see the tower

It took me 1 day.

It made me Enriched

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