Harn Museum Luis Mendez


Join me, as I analyze the many artworks and architectural form found in our own backyard in the Harn Museum. Below you will find four factors that when taken into consideration intensifies my experience at the Harn. Additionally, I have included a section that puts the Harn visit into perspective of IUF1000; What is the Good Life.

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

El Anatsui. Old Man's Cloth. 2003, Aluminum and coper wire, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

In the Harn Tour, the section of Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist focused on The Old Man's Cloth (seen above); a tapestry made of bottle tops introduced by colonization traditional to Ghana and Togo. This art piece is massive; the only way to grasp its true beauty is to visit the Harn Museum. Another piece that really resinated with this concept is the traditional Nigerian Water Spirit Mask (seen below). The intricate carving on the wood are designed to resembled snakes and crocodiles on boats with little human figurings; this tradition revealed to me the the importance of aquatic life, and boating for the Ekpeye people. This art work put me in their community and helped me understand the important values in their community.

Ekpeye people. Water Spirit Mask. 1970, Wood, paint, mirror, and metal, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

Design of the Museum

Cofrin Asian Art Wing. Harn Museum, Gainesville.

Not to stereotype all Asian cultures, but when one usually thinks of Asian culture one associates it with nature, with gardens and traditional woods. The Harn Museum exemplified this and makes an atmosphere that sets the visitor in a traditional environment that complements the art work. The Harn, even cultivated gardens that would suggest connection of the art aesthetic and the natural aesthetic making for more fluid interpretation of art. All the pieces are lit and each have their own space.

Art and Core Values

Grosz George. Manhattan. 1946, Oil on Board, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

The two images (Manhattan above; Excavation below) suggest that the city is more than the city itself but rather the people who make up the city; the life. However, they both provide different perspective of the city. Excavation, shows men physically working to collectively complete a city. Manhattan suggest movement from active humans, through lines and steam without including individuals themselves. One core value interpreted from these two paintings is the concept of collectiveness; as the city and all the communities in the city being one; throughout the Harn, communities values are seen.

Robinson Boardman. Excavation. 1926, Tempera on Plaster, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

Art and the Good Life

Salgado Sebastião. Case of Thousands, Serra Pelada, Brazil. 1986, Gelatin silver print, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

The pictures shows the impacts of greediness in Brazil; the image is of a gold mine--Serra Pelada-- and about 50,000 men working to provide gold to the state. The grueling work usually resulted in no work for the workers and all for the rich. There are little to no qualities of a good life in these conditions; ultimately resulting in high crime, mercury poisoning. While this is so there was still vital good life characteristics: conversation, and singing within each other. This is a core value that is common when talking about the good life.

Tufiño Rafael. Plate 2, Coffee Portfolio. 1954, Linocut, Harn Museum, Gainesville.

One aspect that is constantly seen throughout works, that i would equate to having a good life would be people having a community a family; a support system that is there for them. both Tufiño's Plate, and the video below; show the importance of community around the world; which can be equated to a quality needed for a good life.

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