The Good Life Tour of the Harn Art Museum Cullen Smith

El Anatsui's "Old Man's Cloth", 2003, aluminum and copper wire

When I arrived at the museum and began the Good Life tour, I first saw the piece called "Old Man's Cloth," a very interesting piece made entirely out of repurposed aluminum that was originally the caps of liquor bottles. The interesting medium inspired me to find another piece in the museum that had a cool medium.

Unknown Artist, "Uma-Mahesvara", 10th Century, sandstone

This sculpture is made of weathered sandstone, and it depicts the Hindu god Shiva and his consort Uma. The fact that this was once a solid block of sandstone and was slowly and intricately chipped away into such a beautiful design amazes me and makes me really appreciate the artwork. This piece made me think about how many hundreds of years it must have been exposed to erosion, as it has some obvious signs of wear. The piece makes me feel connected with history and the human spirit, as it is nearly 1100 years old.

Exhibit on Asian Art

The next stop on the tour led me to the Asian Art Exhibit, where I was very impressed with not only the artwork on show, but the design of the exhibit itself. This part of the museum seemed very minimalist, with a lot of open space in between the artwork. I think that this helped to create a very peaceful atmosphere, and helped me to appreciate each piece of art.

Giovanni Battista Piranesi's "Views of Rome" collection, 1748-1765, Etchings
More of Piranesi's etchings from his "Views of Rome" collection

Another exhibit that I was very impressed by was the collection of Giovanni Battista Piranesi's "Views of Rome" etchings. In the museum, there were 20 of Piranesi's 135 etchings, and they were all very impressive. The picture shown above is a map of Rome, with slightly visible red circles on it, and a number accompanying each circle. Each one of these identifies the building that Piranesi etched into a fantastic piece of art that evokes further insight into the history of the city of Rome. I like that a lot of the etchings are shown next to each other on exhibit, because there is a lot of detail in each one, and they all deserve to be appreciated.

George Grosz's "Manhattan," 1946, Oil on board
Boardman Robinson's "Excavation," 1926, Tempera on plaster
Cundo Bermúdez's "Cuarteto Habanero," 1991, Silkscreen

The piece shown above is called "Cuarteto Habanero," which translates to "Quartet from Cuba." I personally play many instruments, and music is a big part of my life, so I felt that this piece resonated well with me. It helps me to cherish my musical ability, as I see that people have been coming together and creating music for thousands of years.

Harn Museum Garden

Finally, I would like to talk about the garden at the Harn Museum. I have always been the outdoors-type, and I regularly go hiking with my friends. This garden was very serene, and had a waterfall flowing, as seen behind me in the picture. Being outdoors makes me happy, so I was able to really appreciate this garden as something that can help you to seek happiness.

All photographs taken by Chad Nussbaum and depicting myself, Cullen Smith

Credits:

Cullen Smith, Chad Nussbaum

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