Holocaust Memorial - Legion of Honor
San Francisco, California
A piece of bleak public art might provoke thought and discussion, but doesn't necessarily work as a family vacation highlight. In 1984, this stark, disturbing sculpture by artist George Segal was dedicated in a spot outside the Legion of Honor: a concrete wall brackets a pile of bleached white bodies. A single survivor stands behind a barbed wire fence.
Visitors can walk behind the barbed wire, even lie down with the dead, but we observed that few do (except perhaps for vandals, who seem to target it repeatedly).
Some critics point out that the sculptured bodies seem a little too well-fed to capture the realism the pile otherwise attempts. Although if one of those living statue guys really wanted to make an impression...
The memorial is especially sad on a foggy, cloudy day, which happens a lot out here on the sea cliff.