Good Life Tour of the Harn Museum of Art By: Melissa Mikush

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

This is the entrance into the African Collections Exhibit

The artwork that is shown in the pictures above is titled "Water Spirit Mask." It is a masquerade headdress of the Ekpeye people in the regions of the Niger Delta made out of wood, paint, mirrors, and metal. The headdress was carved by Duke Ewoh and the photograph in the back was taken by John Piction in 1966. Most of these masks represent aquatic creatures and other water-related spirits. By touring the Harn Museum of Art, I was able to appreciate sculptures, photographs, and paintings in person instead of in a book or online through a website. This form of artwork was very appealing to me, because it was a type sculpture that I have never seen before. This sculpture was a part of the African culture section of the museum and everything found in there was so captivating to the eye, because of the bright colors and intricate designs. The "Water Spirit Mask" really grasped my attention, because the artist carved many different materials into all types of shapes. The headdress reminded me of my dance recital days where I had to wear fancy headdresses similar to the one above. I was always amazed putting it on my head because I appreciated the medium of the art.

Design of the Museum

While touring the Harn Museum of Art, I could not find one specific exhibit that was my favorite. But I did find certain aspects of the design of the museum that drew me more into the experience of the tour. Similar to the "Highlight of the African Collection" column in my first picture, each exhibit had a main white column with their titles at the top in order to draw attention to what part of the museum their visitors were about to see. I really loved how each exhibit was different, not just with the types of artwork, but with the ambience of the exhibit. For example, in the top left corner, I took a photo of one exhibit leading into another. The room turned from a sophisticated look into a more modernized, ligneous look. On top of the different atmospheres for each exhibit, I was very captivated by the nature involved with the museum. By having large windows with flourishing nature showing, it allowed natural light to enter the exhibit and made touring the museum more comfortable for me and my friends. The last thing that I found very appealing was the shelf of pottery covering the wall. It was beautiful to see so many different types of pottery and the shelving made it easy to see so many of them. The way the museum designed everything enhanced my overall experience.

Art and Core Values

Grosz, George. Manhattan. 1946

The artwork above is a painting of the beautiful city of Manhattan. This painting presents a dazzling view of a seemingly endless skyline after post-War World II. The city during this time became a safe haven and a home for those who sought safety and freedom from Nazi Europe. What stood out to me in this specific painting was how the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building stand tall and majestic above all other building in the city. I found that they represent the modern American city and America's leadership in world affairs and conflicts. A core value of mine is being able to be dependable and I feel as though this artwork shows how dependable this city was during World War II. It also shows how courageous the city was so represent America so well and having strength and courage is another one of my core values.

Art and the Good Life

The above photo is a statue called "Seated Buddha" and it was a museum purchase and a gift of Michael A. Singer. Buddha possessed a sophisticated, world-wise culture that represented and combined elements borrowed from many different cultures and traditions. I felt as though this statue showed the theme of seeking the good life, because of the story of Siddhartha. Siddhartha followed Buddha and attempted to learn his ways in order to obtain the good life. Buddha was wise and wanted to help those who were seeking a better life. By teaching others to relieve suffering, he gains a lot f loyal followers included Govinda.

All photos were taken by me and anyone shown in my photos have given me written consent.

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