Looking For The Good Life at The Harn Museum By Hannah Bodden


Rosanjin, Kitaoji. Square Vessel. 1948. Stoneware. Loan from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz.

One may find art and beauty in all aspects of life. This discovery is especially astounding when it is found in objects of every day use. For this reason, I find the medium of stoneware and ceramics to be my favorite. When art is integrated into everyday life, or rather, everyday life is transformed into art, one is able to escaped from the worries of life by appreciating the beauty in objects around them. When I see the Square Vessel, I think not only of its artistic significance, but also of all the things it may have held. Perhaps a young mother used this art to serve food to her children. Or maybe the vessel was only used on special occasions by a wealthy family. When I was able to see this piece in the museum, stories like these filled my mind, striking me with complete wonder. Only art made from mediums that also have practical uses have this ability to affect me in such a meaningful way.


Borgatti, Jean. Okakagbe masquerade performance in Ovao, Nigeria, featuring costumes by Pius Ahigbe. 2003. Video. Harn Museum of art, Gainesville Florida.

When a visitor walks into the exhibit at the Harn featuring African culture, they are greeted by a wide hallway when a video of African dance is projected on to one wall, and projected onto the other. Through this, the visitor is immediately encapsulated by the magnificent African culture. As a dancer, when I walked through this hallway I was immediately intrigued. I stood in awe watching the rhythmic movements of the dancers, and left the exhibit eager to dance in the same rhythmic way. I believe that it is the projection in tandem with the reflection that makes this exhibit incredibly powerful, as it entirely surrounds the viewer and emerges them in the world of the dancers.


Galván, Jesús Guerrero. Dos Niños. 1948. Oil on canvas. Harn Museum in Gainesville Florida.

I have many hopes and aspirations for my life, but above all I wish to be a mother. Family is at the core of my heart, and this painting of two children evokes the plethora emotions I feel when I ponder my future as a mother. I feel excitement for what the future holds, fear that I won't be enough for by children and overall, the love that I will have for my children. When I felt this rush of emotion after looking in this painting, I more fully understood the depth of my longing to be a mother, allowing me to focus on the value of family as I continue my life at UF.

The Good Life.

Kroll, Leon. St. Jean's Bay. 1926. Oil on canvas. Harn Museum Gainesville Florida.

Although the definition of the good life varies greatly throughout all of humanity, one theme that may describe the good life is the ability to simply live in the enjoyment of one another and nature. In this painting, Kroll depicts women basking in the sun and in each other's company. While the women are in this state, they need not worry about the mundane aspects of life. This painting inspires me to look for the goodness in my own life, whether it be in the enjoyment of nature, or in the company of my friends.

Created By
Hannah Bodden


Created with images by jared422_80 - "Gainesville - Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art - Roadside Sculpture"

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