Exploring the Good Life in Gainesville an afternoon in the harn museum of art

cover image: jared422_80 - "Gainesville- Samuel P. Harn Museum"


The Harn Museum of Art is a hidden gem on the outskirts of campus. Visiting this museum was exactly what I needed on a Friday afternoon after a long week of classes. The art within and the building itself were stunning, thought-provoking and comforting to the soul.

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

A ceramic Goddess Xiwangmu is seen in the middle of this display

The art of making ceramics is one that was very long in the making. The "recipe" for ceramics is quite complicated and took a lot of skill to perfect over the years. After viewing this piece of the Goddess Xiwangmu (seen in the middle) from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), I can see the beauty of this material in person and appreciate the time and effort that was put into this art. The texture of the ceramic appeared so smooth and flawless.It was a humbling experience to be able to see this figure in person.

Taking a picture with the Goddess

Design of the Museum

After walking through the Cofrin Asian Art Wing I became convinced that the museum itself was a piece of art. From the wide open space to the wood panel lined ceilings to the floor to ceiling windows and more, the instant I walked into this part of the museum I felt captivated. The design gave off an overall feeling of elegance, sophistication and modernity, but it also made me feel connected to nature. Just beyond the tall windows was a small garden and pond. The flow of the room led me to this garden where I found comfort in the sound of the rushing water in the pond and in the beauty of the well tended plants. The design of this wing helped to "submerge" me into the world of the art I was viewing.

Enjoying the beautiful museum

Art and Core Values

A thanksgiving prayer to the Mixe god Kioga in gratitude for the good harvest, Oaxaca, Mexico by Sebastiao Salgado

In the photograph I am standing in front of above, two indigenous people perform a thanksgiving prayer to the Mixe god Kioga in thanks of a successful harvest. While I'm not particularly religious or spiritual myself, this picture was very striking to me and spoke to my values and the values I want to possess. To me, this picture reminds humanity to not be entitled. As humans and consumers we often take what we believe is automatically ours without second guessing the consequences of our actions. The people pictured in the photograph, however, thank the land and their god for providing them with food. They don't see nature as something they can manipulate for their own good, but rather see nature as a mighty and majestic force that deserves respect.

Art and the Good Life

Yvonne Jacquette: Night Light pictured above

The picture above reminds me of what we commonly think of when we imagine what a "good life" is. The bright lights and glamour of the city are often synonymous with success and wealth and happiness but this is far from the truth. Yvonne Jacquette's paintings are meant to explore tension between natural and manmade. While the image of New York City is certainly mysterious and charming in its own way, it is important to note that "Owning the Good Life" is not just about having nice material possessions. We must not forget about our connection to nature and our spiritual needs.


Created with images by jared422_80 - "Gainesville - Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art"

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