The Harn Museum of Art At the University of Florida


The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida holds a collection of art which transcends mediums, techniques, and time. Through the displays of art, visitors are able to fully embrace the messages of the artists. From my visit to the museum, I was able to take away the importance of art as a social commentary about the problems with society that most people over look. The Harn Museum is a wonderful place to relax and take in the important lessons that different mediums of art teach us.

Medium of the Art

Standing in front of the Old's Man's Cloth by El Anatsui.

The sculpture of the Old Man's Cloth was created using aluminum and copper wire and discarded bottle tops. Without seeing this piece in person, it is very hard to truly appreciate the intricacies of this contemporary artwork. The medium which the art is created uses old bottle caps from liquor companies which were introduced when Ghana was first colonized. The use of these to create a work of art which represents a ceremonial cloth of the indigenous people combines all of the history of Ghana and presents it to the admirer. I found the artwork striking for this fact. The artwork made me realize the history of Ghana, a country that I am not very familiar with.

Design of the Museum

Me sitting in the garden outside of the Asian artwork exhibit.

The Asian artwork exhibit was by far the mot striking design within the museum. The room combined the use of indoor and outdoor scenery to create an environment which was full of natural light and nature. The inside was built out of a rich reddish brown wood which lined the floors, walls, windows, and ceiling. The beautiful woodwork made the room feel warm and inviting and drew your eyes to the individual pieces of artwork stored within that exhibit.

Art and Core Values

Me standing in front of the Women in America modern art piece.

Equality for everyone is the most fundamental value I believe in. As an American citizen, I believe that this value is so fundamental to democracy. The artwork pictured above describes one very well known inequality in America, the unequal pay of women. The modern artwork represents this inequality and publishes it for all viewers to take in. This artwork instills in my the deepest emotion of patriotism, in which I believe we need to strive for better equality within the work force. Through the medium, this artwork allows me to take the time to truly understand what it means to not have equal pay for equal work.

Art and the Good Life

The sculpture of the Buddha found in Asian artwork exhibit reminded me of the first theme we covered in What is the Good Life, when we read Siddhartha in order to learn about the importance of seeking the Good Life. Because of this piece's relation with the prior readings I found it very intriguing and loved the depiction it made of enlightenment. In the Seeking module, we learned that once you find the Good Life, you learn things about yourself that you otherwise didn't know. You are able to look at the world in a completely different way. The sculpture represents these ideas and teaches me a better understanding of the lessons of the module, as it shows the Buddha as an individual with complete peace of mind.

Pictures Citations by Order of Appearence

  • UF Harn Meseum. 2014. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville. Harn Museum of Art. Web. <>
  • L, Helen. Photo of Harn Museum of Art. 2015. Yelp, Gainesville. Yelp. Web. <>
Created By
Chad Wishner

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