A Trip to the Harn Sam Tiffany

In my trip to the Harn Museum, I found many brilliant pieces (some pictured below). Our task as students was to find works that exemplified four different aspects of art and its influence on one's life or experience.

The first stop on the Good Life tour was for technique and medium. The moment I walked into the museum, this collection (pictured below) caught my eye. Its brightness and fun textures were striking against the simple white of the wall behind them. Seeing this collection in person was a pleasant surprise. Having just moved to Florida, party because of the warm weather and palm trees, I was intrigued upon seeing some of the elements I associate with Florida in such a bright and cheery chroma. The picture doesn't fully capture the different textures caused by the mixes of media that Hiram Williams uses. These textures add so much more to the painting in depth, color, and movement. The middle painting specifically captures the essence of a "Swimming Alligator" that one can't fully understand unless seen in person. All seem so more real, in a loose sense of the world, and provide one with a feeling of joy upon seeing the bright and colorful depiction of Florida's finest aspect: nature.

Distraught Palm and others by Hiram Williams

The next stop on the tour was to take in the design of the museum itself. The museum was interactive and very open, allowing one to fully take in all of the artwork in a very non-overwhelming way. Specifically, I enjoyed the African exhibit. In the entrance there was a video along with a mirror. This made me feel as if I was put into the artwork itself and really allowed visitors to experience the culture through the physical art. The array of masks leads one through a maze of African culture. The pieces displayed were actually used, coinciding with the life-like feel provided by the mirror-video display. Though following the clean and open style of the rest of the museum, the African exhibit--along with the others--allowed one to transport his or herself into the specific culture highlighted in the displayed pieces.

Video-Mirror Display
Tiffany Studios artwork

For the third stop, we were supposed to find something in the museum that represented art intermixed with core values. This challenge posed the idea that art typically instills some sort of emotion in its viewer, and that we were to find the art that did this for us. I found a particular exhibit that I connect to on a highly personally level. I am actually a not-so-distant relative of Louis Comfort Tiffany, known for his incredible work with glass. I came across so many beautiful pieces that gave me a sense of pride. Though too far relationally to have any knowledge of him as a person, his artwork instilled a moment of passion and pride in me. His whole life was dedicated to producing artwork that would probably be recognized by many people today. I'm a firm believer in doing what you love and being proud of what you do, so seeing the beautiful pieces displayed and honored such as this lamp and the other vases and bowls exemplified that passion and pride on a personal level.

Eighteen-light Pond Lily Lamp- Louis Comfort Tiffany

The last stop was for art and the good life. The challenge for this was to find something that provoked us to think of the human condition. The piece I found was an another exhibit with which I had a personal connection: the Latin America exhibit. I recently went to Nicaragua and experienced the differences human conditions firsthand. This trip not only changed me spiritually and mentally, but also shed a lot of light on injustice around the world and inspired me to fight that injustice as a hopeful career path. I found this photograph and instantly was transported back to where I served. The artist challenges his viewers to see the truth of different cultures. Many people don't understand that places with tin walls, dirt floors and unclean water exist still today unless they've seen it in person, but Salgado makes it known simply through a picture. HIs photograph captures the looks on the faces of the girls, who are standing in a field with unkempt clothes, thus capturing the essence of poverty in Brazil. Many of us think of Brazil as the tropical getaway that hosted the Summer Olympics. However, Salgado shows us that disparities and oppression do exist and conditions aren't always as good or transparent as they seem, further inspiring us to make a difference and fight for the freedoms of ourselves and others.

Three Girls Holding Hands- Sebastiao Salgado


All images are my own and of myself

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