The Harn Museum of Art And the good life

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

Pictured above is me with Northeast Gorge at Appledore by Childe Hassam. The artist's use of texture helped me better appreciate the painting.

Going to an art museum and seeing the original artwork in person rather than a second-hand picture of the art on the internet or in a book is a vastly different experience. One element that contributes to this unique experience is the medium of the art and the technique the artist used to create it. I noticed this when viewing Northeast Gorge at Appledore by Childe Hassam. When I first walked by this painting, I was intrigued by the substantial use of textures to portray the ridged cliffs on the secluded island of Appledore. The cliffs actually looked rocky and the water actually looked like it had ripples in it due to Hassam's excellent use of the medium of texture. I found this technique to be especially striking because it helped me better understand the story behind this remote island. The description revealed that writers, musicians, and artists gathered on the island of Appledore for inspiration. Upon learning this, I felt like I was an artist transported back to the island in 1890. I could almost feel the jagged cliff and hear the crashing waves. I never would have had this visual experience if I didn't view the artwork in person.

Design of the Museum

Me entering the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, which I found very appealing.

As I was walking throughout the Harn and transitioned into the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, I knew immediately that it was the design aspect of the museum that I wanted to write about. Moving from carpeted floors in rooms with no windows into this wing that had cherrywood floors and immense natural lighting brought about a different feeling inside of me. They use of space was strategic—very open and inviting. Because there wasn't too much artwork crowded into the space, I was able to take time at each piece and truly appreciate each one. The placement of the garden right outside the Asian wing gave me a serene feeling and a taste of nature while exploring this part of the museum. Overall, I felt the most relaxed and interested while in the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing all due to the design and presentation of the exhibits in this area.

Art and Core Values

This painting, Manhattan by George Grosz, relates to my core value of personal growth.

It is impossible not to feel emotions brought about when viewing artwork. Seeing Manhattan by George Grosz and reading about its context, I felt that my core value of personal growth was intertwined throughout aspects of this painting. The description of the painting divulged, "For Grosz and many others who sought safety and freedom from Nazi Europe, this city became a new home during the war." New York represented an opportunity for growth and change for these people facing unbelievably hard times in 1932. This painting helped me better understand my core value of personal growth because even when I am going through hard times, I know that I will strive to become a better and more successful person. Manhattan made me feel inspired to always live my life day-to-day with my core value of personal growth in mind.

Art and the Good Life

The Seated Bodhisattva, made by Josean Dynasty with gold, polychrome and lacquer in the 17th Century, represents the Good Life in many ways.

According to the description accompanying the Seated Bodhisattva, "A bodhisattva is a merciful Buddhist saint and savior, a Buddha-to-be who refrains from entering enlightenment out of compassion for all others striving to achieve the same goal." This reminded me of Siddhartha and his journey to enlightenment. Enlightenment is often associated as the ultimate goal of the Good Life; however, this piece of artwork provokes the Good Life theme of putting others before yourself. It communicates this theme in the bodhisattva's calm demeanor and meanings of his hand gestures. Overall, this piece of artwork greatly contributed to my understanding of the Good Life because although we all seek nirvana, we must be willing to help others along the way.

Created By
Savannah Phillips

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