Tour of the Harn Museum of Art By Michael Hunter

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist
Stella, Frank, Zandvoort, 1981

This piece by Frank Stella needs to be admired in person to fully appreciate the artwork. It is an abstract sculpture that evokes the fast turns of the race track, while the animated painting and vibrant color suggest the adrenaline rush of the racing experience itself. There are multiple levels of the sculpture, and I stood there observing this piece for about five minutes, looking at it from different angles, looking at each individual piece, thinking about what it means in the sense of a race track. It is such a miraculous piece of artwork that is a thrill to see in person.

Ekpeye people, Water Spirit Mask, 1970

This piece of artwork was the first thing I saw when I walked into this wing of the building and I was drawn to it. There are so many colorful, wooden pieces and at first, I just thought that it was a sculpture of a boat, but then I looked up and saw the Nigerian man wearing the large piece on his head. You can see the Nigerian culture naturally radiates from this piece. This piece is very simple, but also very detailed. There are so many different colors and figures, and there is even a little person manning the ship. I would not be able to keep my balance with that thing on my head, but I took a picture of me "wearing" it.

Design of the Museum
The Harn Museum of Art has a very interesting design. No matter where you go, it seems as though you have multiple options on where to go next and every section leads to all the other exhibits. There's no way that you don't see all of the wings.
Part of the enjoyment of going to a museum comes from the design of the building and the ways the exhibits are presented to the public. It was interesting making my way through the museum, navigating through the maze, making sure that I saw everything. Here, as you can see, I had four different options. I chose to start from the exhibit on the right first and then snaked my way back to view the others.
This display was very fascinating to me. I had to take a few moments to figure out whether or not this walled in area was inside or outside. I was wondering why a piece of art would be outside, but as it turns out, the garden had no roof over it and was outside. I thought how interesting it would be if it had been raining outside. That would have altered the way that I look at that piece of art. Juchiteca de pie by Francisco Zuniga is made of bronze with green patina, so it is a good piece to have outside.
This wing of the Chinese artwork was so beautiful to me. The Chinese culture always displays gardens and their beauty and I thought that it was very appropriate to have a garden just outside the Chinese wing that guests could go into and relax and look at the beautiful pond.
Art and Core Values

Art is often very personal. It can evoke many different emotions in its viewers. A work might have a profound effect on one individual but not on another. When walking through the museum, there were only a few pieces that caught my eye and made me interested to learn more about them. I am not sure why, but I was very entertained with the Latin American art depicting skeletons (which are the bottom two pictures of me above). Rider of the Apocalypse (from Apocalypse de Saint Jean) by Rufino Tamayo is based on the Book of Revelation. In the last book of the Bible, John of Patmos describes the end of the world, and this lithograph illustrates the fourth and final horseman of the Apocalypse who represents Death and ultimately devours the world. Calaveras del monton (Skulls from the Heap) depicts a skeleton leaping out from a graveyard populated with tons of skeletons. These illustrations were fascinating to me, as they were so basic and, in a sense plain, but have to do with death and destruction. It made me feel as though death and destruction was almost calming. Another piece of artwork that reached my core values because of the calm it showed was St. Jean's Bay by Leon Kroll. This oil painting represents a composite of several sites and is not a direct representation of a particular place. I found this soothing, like putting all of your favorite places together. It shows four people on the shore of the bay, three of them on a picnic while the other fishes. I just picture myself having a picnic and relaxing, watching the sun set over the bay.

Art and the Good Life
Robinson, Boardman, Excavation, 1926
Pavilion-Form Confucian Altar, Joseon Dynasty, 19th century

Art can help us think about the Good Life, what we want to achieve, what we want to protect, or whom we want to help. Excavation by Boardman Robinson shows people striving for the Good Life. Some Good Life values portrayed in Robinson's work are seeking and constructing. Excavation depicts an industrious working class and celebrates the rise of the modern American city of Pittsburgh. The men pictured in the artwork are hard at work, seeking to build an incredible city. The value of constructing can be taken in a literal sense here, but they are building more than a structure. They are building a city, a community, a part of the economy, and a place for people to live. They are constructing everything that will ever be in the city by building the city. The Good Life values associated with the Pavilion-Form Confucian Altar are embodying and seeking. The reason that the Pavilion-Form Confucian Altar evokes embodying is because the ornamented pavilion most likely served as a household's ancestral altar. Housed within the structure would have been an ancestral related object, most likely a tablet on which was written the names of departed family members. According to aspects of Confucian conduct, filial duties called for a pious reverence for ancestors. The Pavilion-Form Confucian Altar evokes seeking because it has to do with religion and seeking out the Good Life. Religion is a very integral part of the Good Life, and this structure served a religious purpose to a household, as it was the ancestral altar.

Credits:

Created with images by junjiali - "van gogh starry sky oil painting"

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