Good Life Tour of the Harn BY: Matt tortorella

Medium of the Art

This is a gunyege mask belonging to the Dan people from the Ivory Coast. The mask is made out of some kind of light metal and has defined detail around the eyes, nose, and mouth. However the greatest detail of the mask is the realistic look of the hair parting from the top of the mask. The hair is dark black and has become matted from years of preservation. I found this aspect of the mask to be the most striking because of how real the hair appears when you see the mask in person. The hair frizzes in all the places you would expect with someone who has braids and it breaks at the end of each braid with is common in hair that has been locked for a long period of time. The realism in hair showed me how much care the Dan people put into making their artwork and seeing it in person rather through a photo made me further appreciate this.

Design of the Museum

This is an outside garden in the Asian Art section of the museum. This exhibit caught my eye because I think it really captures a lot of the themes common in Asian Art. One of those themes is peace, and this garden depicts just that with its still stream, gentle waterfall, and rocks that looked to be specifically stacked. The garden makes me feel calm and makes me feel as though I would be able to concentrate well if I needed to do something. Another thing that I noticed was how the bridge looked to be placed in the garden without disrupting any of nature around it. The bridge gave off a feeling of being completely natural and this added to the peaceful vibe of the garden.

Art and Core Values

This painting is by a Puerto Rican artist named Rafael Tufino. This painting appeals to my core values and connects with me personally for a couple of reasons. One of which is because I come from a Puerto Rican background and the depiction of people who look similar made me feel some connection to the painting. Also, I feel hard work is one of my main traits and this painting illustrates this value. The painting shows people tending to crops and although they appear to be somewhat older it looks like they have been working most of the day. In addition, the phrase "back breaking" always comes to my mind when I think of hard work and the painting seems to be depicting this with how the people drawn are bent over and are holding heavy tools. The painting gave me a feeling of pride and made me believe that hard work is worth it because it will always pay off in some way.

Art and the Good Life

This statue is called "Seated Bodhisattva" and is in the Asian Art section of the Harn. One of the themes of the good life is reaching enlightenment or absolute peace. This statue reminded me of this theme because it depicts the Buddha who was said to have reached enlightenment in the book Siddhartha. This piece of artwork helps me further understand enlightenment because it helps give me a visual picture of someone who has reached this state in their life.


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