I've read about people who have had moments that they described as profound, even spiritual when looking at some work of art. I always viewed such claims with suspicion until my turn came, and it happend at the Legion of Honor
in San Francisco. For me it wasn't a single piece, but the sum total of an experience. The museum building is neo-classical, and spectacularly sited on a hill. You have to pass between two magnificent equestrian statues to enter. What moved me was the display from their permanent collection (this was two years ago). They have a large collection of Rodin bronzes, and in the gallery where they are displayed it is nothing less than breathtaking. You move through these spaces lit from above with skylights, detailed in the classical style which is sympathetic to sculpture, with figure after figure that seems to possess a spirit. It impressed me deeply. You know the cliche about how sculpture is the thing you back into while looking at a painting? The Legion is the first museum I've ever been in that didn't give me that feeling. (I should admit that I am primarily familiar with the museums in the Northeast USA). The architecture of the Legion complements the bronzes and each play off one another to create a remarkable setting.
Has anyone else had a moving experience of sculpture somewhere? Does anyone think there is another modern musuem in North America that has the right combination of architecture and sculpture to bring one to tears?