Good Life Tour of The Harn -Sasha Libson

Medium/Technique of Art

Louis Comfort Tiffany, Eighteen-Light Pond Lily Lamp, 1902

Artists mainly vary in that they use different techniques and mediums, which is what makes every artist unique. I found this piece particularly appealing because at first glance, I thought it was just an intricate lamp, however, it symbolizes a lily plant. This artist has a unique technique of incorporating forms of nature found in the world. Tiffany was even awarded for the design of this piece during an art fair in Italy. This design is interesting due to it's unusual take on an ordinary object. Also, the incorporation of nature creates a connection of the art to the world.

Design of the Museum

David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing

Beyond the artwork, museums often design exhibits in a specific way to engage the viewer in the culture of the art. The Asian Art Wing was particularly striking because the design features big windows to allow in light and display the outdoor background. Beyond the windows, it appears to represent an Asian zen garden, which sets a more realistic scene in relation to the Asian sculptures and displays. The sculptures pictured above seem to be, or symbolize being made of rock, which would typically reside in nature. Therefore, having the backdrop of a garden makes the exhibit more realistic. Also, the light that comes in through the large panel windows inspires a more positive and joyful mood, which influences how people view the art. The design of this wing along with many others are an art in itself.

Art and Core Values

Raphael Soyer, In Washington Square, 1935

Analyzing art is an individual process and it evokes different emotions for different people. Also, people tend to be attracted to art that represents their own values. This work, In Washington Square, resonated with me because it allows me to connect to my core values of individualism and hard work. This picture depicts the crowded urban setting, however it highlights the characteristic of the lower class working individuals. Soyer lived in New York City and many of his works depicted the working class. Like Soyer, my family immigrated to America and was part of the lower-working class in NYC. Seeing this work, I immediately had feelings of sorrow and appreciation, however the way it made me feel is very different from how it made the people around me and other viewers feel.

Art and the Good Life

Francis Criss, Jefferson Market Courthouse, 1935

Throughout the course, we have learned about many themes relating to the good life. One of the themes was universality and timelessness of certain traditions. This was discussed in terms of celebration and how the arts, music, and celebrations transcend time and culture. This painting depicts a gothic style building in Greenwich Village in New York City. The scene, devoid of the noise and rush of city life, uses bland colors and evoke a sense of emptiness. The gothic and apparent ancient structure in the midst of an urban city symbolizes the good life theme of timelessness as well as universality. This piece provokes us as viewers to think about these themes and apply them to our own lives, which exemplifies the importance of the role of art in society.

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