Good Life Tour of the Harn Sophia Mirkin

Seated Bodhisattva

MEDIUM OF THE ART

I have seen various pictures of the Buddha online and in textbooks but seeing the Seated Bodhisattva in person was a completely different experience. Entering the Asian Collection, the Buddha saint stood out to me the most as its goldish color illuminated as the light hit the glass case. Its face was peaceful and brought serenity to the room. Seeing it in person made me better appreciate the Buddhist culture and what it stands for. It taught me to be more compassionate to others and to avoid being egotistic. The artifact made me feel relaxed, comfortable, sympathetic and made me want to make a difference in the world. A picture on the internet has never given me this feeling and never can. You must see the artifact in person in order to truly appreciate the message Asian culture has to offer.

The Water Garden

DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM

The outside of the museum was very appealing. The pale, white color and tall windows in the front enticed me to go inside. When I entered, I was struck by its modern design. I appreciated the wooden floor and how the lights spotted the paintings and artifacts. Each collection had a different style which made me curious to see what the next display would be. I liked the structure of the museum and how the exhibits made a complete circle. Most museums have a complicated structure but the Harn Museum kept it simple and elegant. I appreciate how well kept the museum is. Everything was in perfect condition and there were staff members guarding the exhibits to continue preserving its appearance. My favorite design of the museum was the Water Garden. I admired its position in front of the Asian artifacts and how you can see it from inside the museum. It attracts the visitors to go outside and to enjoy the view while listening to the water hit the rocks. It gave me a sense of clarity and made my experience very peaceful. I would not change anything about the design of the museum.

Portraits of Frida Kahlo

ART AND CORE VALUES

Looking through all of her photographs, Frida’s feelings and emotions came pouring out of the frame. I felt like she was saying that it is ok to feel every type of emotion and to embrace them. The Frida Kahlo exhibit was the one that I could identify best with my values. Her dark brown eyes and serious face represents values of honesty, freedom, empowerment, independence and most importantly being true to yourself. She was a very strong woman in a conservative society. As a young college woman, I can identify with her. She gives me strength to not be dominated in a male world. I believe women are taught to not be as outspoken as men because it’s not what you are “supposed” to do. But Frida didn’t care. It is this strength and independence that I can relate with. I am never shameful to be who I am because I embrace my independence. Frida Kahlo’s photographs has allowed me to better understand my beliefs. I have been raised to never follow the crowd but to stand up for what I believe in.

The African Collection: The Elusive Spirits

ART AND THE GOOD LIFE

The African Collection in the Harn Museum made me think about the Good Life. The elusive spirit that they displayed with their elaborate attire and extravagant dances made me think about happiness. I think we are so busy with striving and reaching our desires that we do not take the time to enjoy the present. We are always moving and thinking about the future. The African dances portrays happiness and enjoying life in the moment. The exhibit made me realize that happiness is experiencing the present moment because the present is when you realize you are truly alive. Also, I believe little things in life may bring us down but we should not let this happen. We have to zoom out of our mind and think about people with no family, and who are hungry, sick, thirsty. Watching the African dances brought me laughter, joy and added to my understanding that life is short and I must make the best out of it.

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