Photo: Wikipedia "Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_P._Harn_Museum_of_Art
My trip to the Harn Museum was very peaceful and relaxing. I enjoy going to art museums as a way to retreat into myself and reflect on my own values. The Harn is a beautiful museum with amazing artwork, and I cannot believe we have it right on campus!
Photo by Robert Burwell 1/17/17
Medium of Art
I chose this collection of glass art to represent an artwork in which viewing the medium in person is important to the understanding of the artwork. I think any 3D/sculpture work should ideally be viewed in person, as it is nearly impossible to gain a wholesome view of what the piece should look like when viewing a 2D rendering of it. I enjoyed looking at all the different vases, as the glass work was so unique and unlike anything one would find in everyday life. I once had the opportunity to watch an artist blow glass live, and it in my opinion it is one of the highest art forms. The artist must work quickly but diligently, paying attention to every small detail. My favorite was the piece by Frederick Carder – the 5th vase that has an ombre going from transparent to a beautiful violet shade. In person, the hue of the violet is so striking, I was simply enraptured by it.
Photo Allison Welch 1/17/17
Photo by Robert Burwell 1/17/17
Design of the Museum
The nature exhibits at the Harn were by far my favorite elements of the Museum curation. I’m a very outdoorsy person in general, and I love plants and nature so any excuse I have to go outside and enjoy that, I will happily take it. The first nature exhibit I visited was the outdoors area near the main entrance to the museum. There were so many exotic-looking plants that I spent a long time just examining these organisms I had never seen before. There was also a waterfall running under a waterfall that served as a beautiful backdrop for a picture:
Irving J. Goffman Garden (Photo by Robert Burwell 1/17/17)
There was also an indoor landscape architecture piece that intrigued me. The piece was basically a large-scale terrarium, exhibiting many familiar plants that I have seen in Florida. The architect, Irving J. Goffman, is a Masters of Landscape Architecture and Design graduate from the University of Florida
I think these exhibits are my favorites because they contribute to my idea of the good life, which involves a lot of nature. I love immersing myself in exhibits like these over paintings that all I can do is sit and look at.
Claude Monet Champ d'avoine (Oat Field) 1890 (Photo by Robert Burwell 1/17/17)
Art and Core Values
As someone who has studied a fair amount of famous art/art movements in history (I have AP Studio Art and IB Visual Art under my belt), I have developed a specific taste in the style of art I enjoy, and I have my favorite artists. I especially like contemporary art, and Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists. I think his brushwork style is absolutely beautiful, and the way he captures landscapes is like no one else, in my opinion.
Therefore, it is fitting that the artwork I chose to represent my core values is the Monet I found in the Harn. I love the soft pastel color palette, I love the use of the compositional space, I love the setting of an open field – I love everything about this piece. Monet uses his artwork to transport his viewers into the landscapes he paints, which is exactly what I want to feel when looking at artwork. The artwork helps me better understand my desire in life to achieve harmony with nature.
Hector Garcia Frida in Bed with Dog 1949 (Photo by Robert Burwell 1/17/17)
Art and the Good Life
Instead of spewing on more about how much I love nature (don’t worry, I will return to that motif in the last page), I chose a different subject matter to depict one of the major God Life Themes. This artwork is a piece by Hector Garcia, who is famous for photographing Frida Kahlo throughout the many trials in her life. As we learned in lecture, Frida Kahlo is one who struggled with “Embodying” the good life. After Kahlo’s horrific accident, she struggled to function with her full-body casts. She occupied her time in her home by painting herself, and apparently by relaxing with her pets. Garcia often photographed Kahlo with her many pets, as they seemed to bring her joy.
Frida Kahlo appears to be in pain in the photograph, clutching her dog for comfort. The photograph does an excellent job of depicting Kahlo’s struggle, while also highlighting the good parts of her story. While Kahlo was not always confident in her self-image, she was still able to embrace life, and even paint herself in a positive light.