Harn Museum of Art The good Life


The Harn museum of art is a place for deep reflection and appreciation. This assignment made me consider different aspects of a museum visit that I previously been unaware of. The role that the design of the museum plays on the experience that one has is unmistakable. However, one mostly notices the design it has flaws. The art of design is one that should be harmonious and as a consequence mostly unnoticed. When talking about specific pieces, the medium in which the art is created plays a vital role in the delivery of the art's ethos. The art itself, in many cases, reminds the visitor that there is more that one way to reach the good life.

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist:

Plaster-made painting

Although this painting was featured in the audio tour of the museum, it is, for me, one the most striking pieces. While in the audio tour the explained the history and importance of the piece, they briefly mentioned the materials used in the painting. The author, Boardman Robinson, used plaster as the base for his painting. This material is rather unusual as an art material because of its roughness and difficulty to use. It seems appropriate, however, in his "Excavation" painting. This piece describes the relentless nature of man. It pictures a group of men in a construction site. These powerful images of extreme dedication and achievement remind the viewer of the never-ending search for greatness in the human race. I found this medium to be striking because if its peculiarity and its appropriateness with regards to the theme of the painting. This effect is only magnified when observed up close. Above, I added a couple of pictures showing the plaster. When detailed, the plaster shows clear imperfections and defects. This supports the author's commentary on the human pursuit for bigger and better things. They show how humans are imperfect in nature and how we try to remove imperfections rater than accept them as a wholesome aspect of beauty. This idea ties in with the theme of the class "the good life" and how in order to achieve the good life or get close to it, recognizing imperfections is a step towards a better life. The imperfections the the plaster can only be observed if one sees the piece in person. The artwork made me feel restless, a urge to participate in something bigger than me. It made me reflect on the goals we hold as a society, and how as a community we can come together to achieve a greater good.

Design of the Museum

Photography Collection/ Modern Collection

The design of a museum is a key aspect of the museum experience. This is, after all, the main way individuals interact with the environment. In an disruptive, loud or crowded place, people would not be able to enjoy to the fullest extent the displays and artworks. The design of the Harn is particularly appropriate for its purpose. In particular, I found the Photography Collection/Modern Collection wing of the building very agreeable. This wing is particularly special because of its open space/feel. I find this space relaxing and comfortable to be in. Because of that, it lets me concentrate on the artwork rather than on the site itself. The space is not distracting but rather cultivating to the artwork. The space fells clean but not clinical. The floors are wooden, reminding the visitor of a natural environment. Voices in the room do not echo. The space is brilliantly lit with both artificial and natural lighting. The artwork's placement is not distracting. The paintings are located at eye-level and comfortably spaced apart, making them comfortable to observe for long periods of time. Overall, there is a sence of harmony and balance within the room that both captivates the visitor and does not distract from the artworks.

Art and Core Values


A few years ago, when I had just mover to the United States, my mother, my sister, and I went to the Harn museum. It was summer still and school had not begun. For that reason, I did not know anyone in Gainesville and had no friends. I strolled through the museum wondering about the people I would meet and the experiences I would live. There was a lot of uncertainty in my life at that point. I remember seeing this sculpture or one very similar. This piece reminds us of the importance of family. I connected with the piece inmmidiatly. Family was the only relationship that I had at that point and it made me feel comfortable and secure in an abstract environment. The image of the sculpture is one of unity and security. It highlights the importance of family and the role it plays in society. The sculpture is made of stone, this enhances the notion that a solid family core can support individuals through difficult times. This sculpture explores the value of family and reflects on its importance in society. This sculpture makes me feel nostalgic and happy at the same time. It reminds me that not everyone has a strong family support and that one has to be grateful for having it. I share the same ideas as the author of the sculpture, and i appreciate his way of showing to the public his perspective.

Art and "The Good Life"

Ceremonial Gound

While strolling through the museum, I noticed this colorful gown in the African wing. It caught my attention because of its colorful design and flashy decorations. This dress is extraordinary for modern American culture, however, it reminded me of the ceremonial gowns used in my home country of Colombia. I arrived at the conclusion that they must be connected somehow, after all African culture influenced and shaped Colombian culture to a great extent. In rural parts of Colombia, typical dancers use exquisitely decorated bright dresses for dancing ceremonies. I assumed that this dress was used for the same reason. Religion, to a great extent affects the good life. Ceremonies and events within a culture or group bring people together and make them feel like they are part of that community. The good life depicted in the dress is a life of customs and ceremonies. It is a life of communities and celebrations. It is a life of traditions. It is, of course not a life for everyone, but for some people it is a life that brings them purpose and an objective. It communicates this theme from its colors and decorations. It reminds the viewer that cultures differ and that the good life is jut as peculiar as the cultures themselves.

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