Tour of The Harn Museum Ashleigh maher

Kristen and I at the front of the museum.

Medium and Technique of the Artist: El Anatsui, Old Man’s Cloth

This is a piece you definitely have to see in person. Pictures do not do it justice. It's large scale and extreme intricacy can only be appreciated when observing it in person. When you first walk in to the Harn, it is covering the wall directly to your right. Old Man's Cloth is a fantastic centerpiece and sets the stage for the rest of the museum. I remember seeing pictures of it online, but the massive piece made by such small, seemingly insignificant pieces of bottle caps make it stand out even more in person. It was a work that made you feel small, yet important. It shows that in life you really are just a small piece of a greater work.

Design of the Museum: Indoors and Outdoors, Asian Wing

I absolutely loved the design of this museum. It kept things fresh by having exhibitions both inside and outside and incorporating outdoor light instead of artificial. The layout was simple yet whimsical which made it very easy and fun to navigate. My overall favorite place was the garden off of the Asian wing. As soon as you walked in, you were flooded with natural light coming from a beautiful garden, complete with a waterfall. As you looked at the art inside, it paralleled with the nature outside. The garden was an extremely peaceful place that I wished I could spend all day in. The arrangement of the art inside and out played up the beauty of the natural world in Asian art. There were many other small wings containing exhibits or gardens outside, but this by far was my favorite because of it's size and prevalence to the art.

Art and Core Values: Champ d'avoine (Oat Field), Claude Monet

At the Harn, there was an entire wing devoted to Monet's paintings. Many of his paintings are small scaled, but the detail in them is incredible. Monet's paintings bring out the best in nature, and the thoughtfulness to appreciate it. This wing of the museum reminded me of the fact that sometimes, you need to slow down and appreciate your surroundings. Many of Monet's works depict the beauty of nature and the playfulness of light and dark. It brings the freshness of the world to you in the form of a mere painting. This painting reminded me of a field down the road from me at home, where I would occasionally go to take pictures at sunset. This painting brought peace and the remembrance of home to me, and reminded me to cherish the beauty around me.

Art and the Good Life: Mama Baby, Tidal Pools, Trinadad, California, Justine Kurland

This is an unusual piece I believe portrays the good life, because it is described as a utopia. Kurland is a self-proclaimed feminist who's main study is the interactions of women and children. At first, I just thought the picture was women on a beach, but a closer look shows they are nude and with their children. It explores the freedom of the body and spirit from mother to child. Everyone on the beach looks relaxed and carefree and it could also resemble a feminist Eden. It reminds me of the freedom of speech, mind, and body, it looks as if nothing phases the subjects. The beach is one of my favorite places to spend time, not necessarily in the nude, but still where I would rather be. This photograph is a simple piece that portrays serenity, liberation, and thought beyond the picture. It made me think of and appreciate that loving the skin you're in is always important. Also, that sometimes relaxation and carefree days are important to the human experience.

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