During Thanksgiving, I went on a trip with my humanities class to the Harn Museum here in Gainesville. The Harn provides opportunities for all types of people to come and connect with thousands of pieces of art and relaxing gardens.
The Harn's many art displays allow one to admire beautiful paintings, discover inner insight, meditate, and find the good life.
During my tour I found several paintings and visited a few areas that moved me deeply.
This is the Champ d'avoine, a painting created by Claude Monet. Monet was one of the artists who founded the impressionist movement. Rather than minimizing the brushstroke, Monet created "broken, rhythmic strokes." The Champ d'avoine shows the oat fields outside his home. This painting is a masterpiece, created by one of the greatest artist, and it reminds me of the fields outside my grandmother's house in Germany.
The dry garden outside is a calming area, with rhythmic raked stones. It is my favorite place in the Harn. Rocks positioned in a unique array lay in a bed of pebbles. The trees break up the monotonous grey color with their green sprigs. A bench in the back allows visitors to soak in the peaceful atmosphere, which reminds me of the Morikami Garden in Southern Florida that I visited this summer. The Japanese gardens at Morikami depict the evolution of Japanese culture and landscape with different sections. One of these sections contains raked stones just like at the Harn.
This picture depicts a family of Syrian Refugees photographed by Lynsey Addario. The piece is nameless but it shows familial love through the mother's care for her children, even in dire circumstances. It also shows the importance of tradition, seen by the mother's traditional garb, tempered with acceptance of the future, as seen by the children's modern garb. I can personally attest to these virtues. First of all, I love my family, and will stick with them through rain or snow. Secondly, I was raised up in a traditional German household (though I live in America, both my parents are German.) Even so, I see the need for change and innovation, technology has done so much to improve our lives.
Finally these pictures exemplifies part of what it means to have a good life. These pieces of art were made by Rafael Tufino, who lived in Puerto Rico. The Coffee Portfolio (as these are called), shows aspects of the lifestyle of Coffee gatherers. The top two pictures show different aspects of gathering the coffee. These represent a purpose, which is key for a good life. The coffee gatherers have a job, and their purpose is to gather coffee as to provide for themselves and their family. The bottom left picture shows a girl grinding coffee beans. Finally, the bottom right picture shows people partying, now that the coffee season is finished. This represents happiness, another important aspect in the good life. Now that they have completed their purpose, the coffee gatherers have time to celebrate, enjoying music and each others company.
I encourage you to stop by the Harn Museum if you are near Gainesville, but, whether you go to the Harn or not, always, look deeper into the art that you find.
I would like to thank Professor Hom for guiding the tour. He provided many insights into the museum, and showed us areas that I had never seen.