The Good Life Tour of the Harn Musuem By: Melissa Gurney

Photo taken by Melissa Gurney of Claude Monet's Champ d'avoine in the Harn Museum

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This was my second trip to the Harn Museum. Most of the exhibits had not changed since I was last there. However, this trip I had a more determined mindset to find the art I thought would best represent the four components of the assignment.

Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Art: Arguably one of the most complex forms of art is known as mixed materials. Mixed materials incorporate various materials to create intricate pieces art. The art I chose to represent this section exemplifies this. Zandvoort has a unique three dimensional shape. This is not a piece of art that can be easily viewed online or in a book. To fully comprehend its form, the viewer must be able to look at the art from different angles and compare its size and positioning. The technique and the design of the work interested me the most. The unpainted cardboard on the edges and the multiple directions that the form leads were my favorite aspects of this work. The multiple directions of the different interweaving paths and the vibrant lines painted in the same directions communicates a sense of speed and quickness. It reminded me of a complicated or busy life constantly moving in different directions.

Photos taken by Melissa Gurney of Zandvoort by Frank Stella located in the Harn Museum

Design of the Museum: There are many approaches to the design of a museum that the creator can take. Typically art is hanging from a wall in basic four walled rooms. What is slightly different from many of the museums I've been to is that the Harn includes smaller wall-like structures within these larger room. This fills in open space and provides more room to display two dimensional art such as paintings. This makes sense for a smaller museum like the Harn to be able to display more paintings. The photo I took exemplifies the multiple walls created in the main exhibit area. If there was to ever be an exhibit on three dimensional works, these walls would have to be removed. I feel that these extra walls are there to meet the museums needs and it suggests that they do not focus on large three dimensional art. However, the design is aesthetically pleasing but slightly confusing or maze-like because you have to walk around the walls to figure out what you have and have not seen.

Photos taken by Melissa Gurney of the main exhibit gallery, Gladys Gracy Harn Exhibition Hall in the Harn Museum

Art and Core Values: The Monet in the Harn is probably by far my favorite piece of art there. I am a fan of Monet's work and I appreciate his Impressionistic technique and use of peaceful colors. It evokes a sense of calmness and peacefulness that I often look over in life. Monet's painted scene gives the viewer a relaxing feeling. The spaces that Monet paints are places that I could go to be alone in thought or simply enjoy my surroundings. This landscape provides a sense of comfort. Upon viewing works like this, I am able to relax and appreciate my surroundings more because I am more aware of my environment.

Photo taken by Melissa Gurney of Claude Monet's Champ d'avoine in the Harn Museum

Art and the Good Life: I felt that Uma-Mahesvara represented certain aspects of the Good Life. The relief sculpture represents two Hindu gods with their arms around each other. Shiva is the Hindu god of both good and bad creation as well as protection while Uma is the Hindu goddess of love and power. Together, they form a unique symbolism of unity, life, and love. These are all important to the Good Life. For some people, religion is also an important part of them living the Good Life. This work includes the religious beings of a Hindu god and goddess and the iconography based around them. I appreciate the themes of humanity in this because they demonstrate them despite being figures of a higher power. I also understand these themes to be more universal, applying to both humans and gods.

Photo taken by Melissa Gurney of the Uma-Mahesvara relief sculpture in the Harn Museum


Melissa Gurney

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