Good Life Tour of the Harn JENNIFER ASCANO

Introduction: The Harn Museum of Art was an incredible museum that was filled with many amazing pieces of art. Each work of art had a meaningful story or historical significance. It was a humbling experience visiting the Harn Museum and learning about the different cultures, time periods, and the vast amount of artwork that the museum exhibits. There was a vast amount of mediums, artwork, and different techniques that was to be encountered in each of the wings and exhibits. The museum taught me that perspective can truly influence the way you interpret the beauty of the art.

"Florida Landscape" by William Morris Hunt (1875) Harn Museum.

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist: Although this canvas appears to be ordinary in photograph, it caught my attention and immediately struck my eye. The texture of the indents in the river, the rich colors used on the canvas, and the detail of the lighting from the sun were captivating. It was a beautiful piece of art, with extreme detail. The techniques used were influenced by the French Barbizon School, which is evident in the landscape's mood and tone. The painter, William Morris Hunt, visited and explored St. Augustine and Magnolia Springs in 1872, which inspired this canvas. The St. Johns River was the main influence for this canvas, which spoke and communicated to me since I have visited this beautiful river before. The beauty of nature is truly underestimated, and this canvas captures the beauty and serenity of nature at its finest. The artwork brought me feelings of nostalgia and peace. The beauty of this landscape is really striking.

Asian Water Garden. Harn Museum

Design of the Museum: The Asian Water Garden was particularly appealing to me, and is what I believe to be the most beautiful wing of the Harn museum. The natural beauty and the use of space outside was very unique and unlike any other exhibit I have seen before. The architects of this exhibit enhanced the enjoyment of this exhibit through the use of the garden space outdoors. The architects also enhanced this exhibit with the miniature waterfall, which personally I found was a feature of this exhibit to be beautiful. The constant change of the Asian Water Garden was noted throughout the entire wing, and is what makes it stand out from other pieces of art. From the miniature waterfall's constant flowing water, the plants growing, and the sun shining, the continuous change brings me awe. It brings me relaxation and tranquility knowing that although things happen in life for a reason, whether it be good or bad, that things are always constantly changing. You do not truly know the outcome of situation, because things can change in a blink of an eye.

"Scene of Snake Key, Gulf Coast" by Herman Herzog (1896-1910). Harn Museum.

Art and Core Values: This artwork appeals to one of my most core values, the simplicity of life and how humans should enjoy the little things in life. This piece of art instilled an even better appreciation of this core value of mine, because such as the man sitting underneath the trees, we should take the time out of our lives to relax and enjoy the simple things. Technology has completely taken control of our lives. We rely on technology and internet like our lives depend on it, but we fail to realize that the simple things in life are the ones right outside our door. Material things such as cellphones and tablets can dominate our way of thinking, and can be a distraction of what truly matters in life. This piece of artwork brings me serenity. I adore the beach and palm trees, and I truly believe that little things even the beach and palm trees, can be enjoyed by appreciating the simplicity of nature. Such as the man relaxing under the palm trees, we should really follow his actions, and just simply relax under the palm trees every once in a while to disconnect.

"Seated Buddha" 4th-5th Century. Harn Museum

Art and the Good Life: "Seated Buddha" was a piece of artwork that caught my attention that I believe conveys the Good Life theme of searching and eventually achieving what a person considers to be the good life. Many different people achieve the good life in many different ways, or have different ideals or values that impact their perspective of what the good life truly is. The statue of Buddha is just a depiction of one of the ways the good life can be achieved, in this case, a state of peace and enlightenment. This piece of art adds to my understanding of this theme because it proves that achieving the good life is NOT impossible. It is something that can be achieved by everyone.

All images used in this Spark Story were taken by Jennifer Ascano.

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