San Francisco is one of my favorite US cities to visit. Although it offers a wide variety of museums to please every art palate, it is still worth taking the short drive to the Stanford University campus near Palo Alto to visit the Cantor Center for Visual Arts. Collections at the museum range from African tribal pieces to European nineteenth century paintings.
The piece de resistance of the museum is the Rodin collection. I loved studying Rodin when I was in school so this was a little bit of art heaven. Visitors can wander through the Rodin Sculpture Garden where bronze castings of his works mingle with sandstone and trees to create a stunning visual landscape, of which The Gates of Hell is the focal piece. The collection, the largest of its kind, continues inside the museum with multiple works including The Kiss, studies for his sculpture of Balzac and, of course, The Thinking Man.
The Cantor Center is open to the public from 11am to 5pm Wednesdays through Sundays (open until 8pm on Thursdays). There is no admission charge.