Harn Museum Madeleine Wagner

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

I found much interest in this oil painting, titled " Tokyo Street with Pachinko Parlor 2, by Yvonne Jacquette. Being able to see this artwork in person at this museum as opposed to online or in a book allowed me to view it from an up close and personal point of view. For one, the painting is much larger when viewing it in person when opposed to through other mediums. This, in effect, changed how I viewed to painting as a whole. Seeing this painting in it's original, very large form, emphasizes the bright neon lights and crowded yet pleasurable view of city night life. One aspect of the artist's technique that I found most striking was the use of neon colors. This use of colors, as well as the downward angle at which you are viewing the scene, helps emphasize the inherent largeness and chaos of the inner cities, yet also highlights the enjoyable and fun aspects as well. The artwork made me feel a sense of excitement and longing, as Jacquette's painting made me exited to see this city for myself and experience the pleasures that she has drawn.

Design of the Museum

A design of an exhibit that was most appealing to me was the Asian art wing. There were many aspects of this exhibit that I appreciated. For one, it was very spacious. Instead of just paintings that the majority of the museum was comprised of, the Asian art wing had very old, yet unique pieces of pottery and other physical forms of art on display, elevated behind glass. Each display was located far apart from other ones, making the room feel larger, and allowing people to take in and enjoy each individual work of art on it's own, valuing it's uniqueness, instead of as a unit. There was a large window in the room, showing us the outdoor environment, trees, rocks, grass, etc. As well, the lightening in this room was dimmed, compared to the rest of the building, and the wooden floors were a polished maple brown colors. All of these aspects of the room helped to contribute to the serene and peaceful atmosphere of this wing, allowing the guests (myself included) to feel a sense of calm and relaxation while viewing the art.

Art and Core Values

An artwork that I found in the Harn Museum that I believe appealed directly to my core values is the piece titled, "Three Men at Union Square." It is an oil on canvas painting, by Isabel Bishop. One of the values that I have chosen to represent my interests and beliefs is that of achievement, our ability to go through life fulfilling goals and forging pathways in our self interest. In Bishop's painting, she portrays three working men watching a fashionable women walking up the stairs. This can be interpreting as metaphorical of the women's role in a male dominated workplace, and the struggles that she goes through to for achievement and recognition in a society that rejects those who are perceived as unfit or irregular to due class, ethnicity or gender. This painting gives me many emotions, such as anger towards to gender inequalities of the past and present. However, I also find it motivating in a sense that it makes me more determined to achieve my goals and carve out my place in a working class society. This painting helps me better understand and appreciate my personal values as it makes me think about my role in society and how I am going to achieve it, as well as think about the other values that define me as a person.

Art and the Good Life

One piece of artwork that I thought portrayed the "Good Life" theme was an oil on board painting by George Grosz titled "Manhattan". This painting portrays the skyline of Manhattan, a very large and influential city, during the second world war. The skyline looks almost endless, and there is a very clear portrayal of the Chrysler building and the Empire State building, two symbols of New York, and from that, America itself. The theme of the Good Life is that of the human condition, how different people see and act upon the world and the people around them. This painting portrays the Good Life theme as it is showing us an outsider view of Manhattan, with it's tall buildings, bustling inner city, and smoke. This city was, in essence, a symbol of Modern America, with it's booming industrial base and safe haven from those fleeing from war to practice their religion freely without government intervention. This painting portrays America's core values when it comes to individual's and their faith, as well as economic values with their growing leadership in the business affairs around the globe. This painting adds to my understanding of the Good Life theme as it shows me how an outsider (George Grosz was a German immigrant) views the city and the values that come with it in face of war, and how these values prevail in the end. The Good Life is all about explored how humanity is impacted by the arts and sciences, and how their values change and evolve over time.

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