The Harn Museum By camerin dunn


I have been to the Harn museum several times before this particular trip, but it was nice to view the museum through a fresh set of eyes. As I looked at the techniques of artists, the design of the museum, the core values, and the good life, I found that I could delve more into what my interests are in the Harn museum. As an architecture and interior design major I enjoyed being able to look at the design of the museum and pieces of architectural art. As an Asian-American, I also became interested in looking at the many pieces of Asian art in the museum. As a whole, this was my favorite trip I have taken to the Harn museum.

"Lights and Towers" by Yvonne Jacquette (An example of architectural art and excited me because of my upcoming trip to New York City)

Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist

La pianta grande di Roma (The Large Plan of Rome), or the Nolli Map, was a piece of art that can only be truly appreciated when seeing in person. The Nolli map is something I had previously studied in my architecture classes, so being able to study it more closely changed my perspective on it completely. This map was created by carving pieces of metal by hand and then printed on to a piece of paper. The Nolli map is known as one of the best examples of a figure-ground diagram, which is a technique of drawing that only uses lines to show the urban structure of an area. As an architecture student who has had to make figure-ground diagrams in the past, I can understand how difficult such a map at the scale Nolli has made would be. When looking closely at the Nolli Map you can see the intricate line work of the map, and better understand the amount of time and precision that must have been needed to create such a piece. This piece made me even more excited about the field and I am studying, and made me appreciate even further how intricate the work that architects do.

"The Nolli Map" by Giovanni Battista Nolli

Design of the Museum

The design of the museum is divided into wings, based upon different regions and culture. Nestled in the back part of the museum, the Asian Art Wing was my favorite part of the museum. From and interior design standpoint, this area of the museum already stands out because of its difference in materiality. The rest of the museum is covered plaster walls, most of them white, which is a modern style approach that is used in many museums. However, the Asian Art Wing completely breaks away from that and employs the use of wooden paneling which is reminiscent of Japanese style interiors. Another aspect of the Asian Art Wing that stood out to me was the use of natural light because of the adjacent garden. The glass wall that showcases the beautiful garden also allows much light into the room and creates a mood of peace and tranquility. When looking at the principles of interior design the two main purposes is to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space, which Asian Art Wing exemplifies. I truly felt at peace when in this section of this museum because of the use of these principles.

Entrance to the Asian Art Wing
"A Heave to Unfold" in the Asian Art Wing

Art and Core Values

The statue of this a stupa or pagoda from Korea appeals to my core value of personal growth because of everything a stupa represents. From the different symbolic shapes made in the stupa's building form, you can learn a lot about your own inner growth. A stupa is a type of Buddhist temple, the one pictured here being an East Asian version. All stupas had certain building requirements that made them a stupa, so the building could express the Buddhist ideology. Stupas would contain a square base to represent the earth, a tall spire to represent the sun, and lotus imagery to symbolize air. This statue appeals to my core values because just like the stupa I seek to strengthen my peace within myself. By looking at the stupa I better understand that to gain personal growth I must also connect and consider the world around me.

Stupa from Korea

Art and the Good Life

In this colored woodcut piece "Going to the Fair" by Helen Hyde, many families traveling through a beautiful landscape is depicted. This piece of art celebrates the Good Life theme of celebrating because Hyde is recreating a medium art to express the ideas of exoticism and peacefulness. Hyde borrows from the art form of Japanese wood cutting and printing to create this piece, which shows how art forms are a universal language across regions, languages, and cultures. The subject of the print also evokes this theme, the simple townspeople being shown heading off into a better life and time. This piece of art helps me better understand the theme of celebrating because I now understand the idea of how recreating and appropriating arts form is helpful to reach even more people than just small region, and in result more people can take part in living the good life.

"Going to the Fair" by Helen Hyde

All images are my own.

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