Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist: While visiting the Harn for the first time, I was able to observe and analyze many paintings, sculptures, and drawings in person. As I walked around the museum, one piece of artwork that really stood out to me was the Female Royal Ancestor Mask along with the Male Royal Ancestor Mask from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Seeing these masks in person really helped me to better understand and appreciate the work because I was able to see the intricate and detailed patterns on designed on the masks. As I looked closely, I observed many things that I would not have been able to notice if I had seen the sculpture on a website or in a book. For instance, I noticed that the female and male masks both had many of the same patterns and beading. Also, the masks were made of animal hair and wood. I found this piece of artwork to be so striking because I feel that it stood out from the rest of the sculptures in the museum as they were very tribal and each mask seemed to be conveying a different message to the audience. After reading about each mask and learning about the roots of the Kuba people, the artwork allowed me to feel a sense of strength and power.

Design of the Museum: As I walked through the art exhibits, I found a particular wing that was very appealing to me. As shown below, the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing caught my attention as it was very modern and looked different from the other parts of the museum. I observed the architecture of this wing and noticed the high ceilings, large glass shelves, and wooden floors. This wing had its own unique features that no other part of the museum had. Rather than crowding the artwork and putting all the pieces right next to each other, I felt that this exhibit was very spread out which I enjoyed. This is because, for the most part, the artwork was against the wall as shown in the picture below. In addition, the big glass windows allowed for the daylight to shine through into the exhibit. I feel that this lighting provided the room with a natural brightness that illuminated the art pieces. Although these art pieces are from many years ago, this exhibit makes me feel as though I am looking at very modern artwork.

Art and Core Values: For me, the piece of artwork in the museum that appeals to my core value along with my emotions was a photograph by the Mayo Brothers who were Mexican Journalists. The photo captures a woman, Frida, who represents the Mexican revolutionary woman with an "undefeated physical presence". This photograph evoked many emotions in me because I can relate to this photo. In other words, many of the core values that are portrayed in the photo, appeal to my emotion. For instance, the woman in this picture represents a strong and tough women of history who endured years of suffering. Although I am not able to exactly relate to Frida, one of the most important values to me is strength in women and them being treated equal as men. In addition, as I looked closely at the picture on the right of Frida, she looks as if she is a proud, strong-minded woman, which is something I admire.

Art and the Good Life: A piece of artwork in the Harn that conveys a Good Life theme was the Buddha. I believe that the Buddha is one of the best representations of the Good Life because the Buddha's goal is to live in peace and harmony while ending all suffering and living in the present moment. In my opinion, in order to achieve the Good Life, one must have a similar mindset of a Buddha and try their best to be free from suffering. Like a Buddha, one should strive for happiness through methods such as meditation and relaxation. As shown in the photo, the Buddha's stance demonstrates a form of mediation and tranquility which communicates the theme of the Good Life. To me, a statue of a Buddha conveys a message of love, kindness, mindfulness, and concentration which adds to my understanding of the Good Life and are all values that I hope and strive to achieve in my life. I also believe that through meditation one can achieve the Good Life by improving their mental and emotional health.


Rachel Geradi

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