Good Life Tour of the Harn Museum of Art Jessica schrier

Introduction to the Harn Museum of Art

The Harn’s collection totals more than 10,000 objects including African, Asian, modern and contemporary art, and photography with significant representations of Ancient American and oceanic art, as well as a growing collection of natural history works on paper (

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

I chose this particular painting "Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor II" to be representative of the different techniques artists can use to express themselves through paint or other mediums. The artist scored the paint to mix the colors and create gradients and because of the layers the oil painting was almost 3D in nature. Seeing it in person allows the painting to jump out more at the viewer, where as seeing it online or in a book would reflect it as a more 2D, flat piece. I already love the idea of city skylines and street views, so this painting automatically stuck out to me. At first I thought it was New York or Los Angeles as I've never myself been to Tokyo, but now I see how it could've been confused for either of those big-city feels. Because of the scoring and the thick layering of paint aspect I mentioned before, it really allows you to feel like you're in the middle of the city staring down into the street, feeling like the whole night is ahead of you.

Design of the Museum

Above I've included two separate examples of how the design of the museum contributes to the art pieces inside of it. What stood out the most to me during my time in the museum was the use of different colored walls as backgrounds for different pieces. Different colors can make you feel different things, and I would imagine that is how they pick the color for each wall. The first image, the "Woman's Wedding Dress Ensemble" from Egypt, was placed on a neutral tan/orange wall to represent the dryness and almost a sand-like color of the desert to make the viewer feel more like they're surrounded by desert. The second image of the light blue and white walls inside the museum can make the viewer feel at ease and give off a serene vibe. More easy going and light hearted works were placed on these white or light blue walls as they're easy to look at as well as enjoyable.

Art and Core Values

The image of the artwork above, "Cemetery of the town of Hualtla de Jimenez, Mexico", to me represents loyalty. Loyalty is one of the values that is most important to me because if you can't be loyal to a friendship or relationship then why even be in one in the first place? Dogs are often a symbol of loyalty, as seen in this work of art as well. Depicted is a dog laying on top of a coffin in a grave yard, which the onlooker can guess is likely the dog's owner. The dog remains so loyal to its human that even in death they are not separated. Seeing a mourning dog is enough to make anyone teary-eyed, but dogs are especially close to me so this image caused me sadness upon stumbling across it. It helps me relate to the image and feel closer because I can imagine if I were in the same situation with my animals, and how I would feel in that situation. The piece really makes you think about what it would be like if you were in their shoes.

Art and the Good Life

In the two art pieces above, I felt the good life was represented in a few different ways. Both, to me, project the idea of peace and, for lack of a better word, retirement. Once retaining the good life one can expect to reach this sort of with contentness with their life and their decisions throughout their life. The good life is different for everyone, but these pictures are representative of it for me. Nature more so than the cottage, I just felt the cottage was an adorable little house that I wouldn't mind spending my time in. It gives something to look forward to, that at the end of the journey there's something waiting there. The good life, to me, is having no cares and no worries and these two pieces represent that to me.

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