We went to the Palace of the Legion of Honor this week to peer between San Franciscans at Impressionist paintings of water and boats. Not that the Monets were not delicious - they were - but I had a much more wonderful time in the two tiny galleries that were empty.
There was a small gallery of animal paintings and prints: Artful Animals. This should be a permanent fixture of the Palace. The images were serious and witty and from all across the spectrum. There was a poster from the Filmore advertising The Turtles and a funny Thirties Mabel Dwight drawing of a fish and his audience.
I loved the eighteenth century dandelion illustration of German, Barbara Regina Dietzsch. Something similar:
Probably because there was a snail lovingly drawn. I Googled Francois Louis Schmied (his illustration was of the mastodons and the flying birds) and found wonderful Art Deco book bindings and illustrations.
Ed Ruscha (with Ken Price) drew a page full of house flies.
Down the hall was another empty room with a Darren Waterston bestiary. This was commissioned by the museum Graphic Arts Council. Bravo to them.
The image I keep from the day was a small print by Henri Rivière in the Impressionist show from a collection of his Eiffel Tower images. I have a taste for the tiny even amid giants. It seems to me an image where the water is not a place but a path from these modest skiffs past the Cathedral to the giant engineering marvel tiny in the distance. I bought the book.