A Trip to the Harn Museum of Art By: KYle Summersfield


I visited the Harn Museum of Art in an attempt to find works of art that shocked me when I saw them in person, adhered to my core values and beliefs, and depicted what I believed the Good Life was. In doing so I was able to view hundreds of gorgeous masterpieces and also be exposed to the gorgeous architectural layout the Harn Museum of Art had to offer.

The Harm Museum of Art's Water Garden

Medium of the Art/Technique of the Artist

This is Cloth (Bazin) and was purchased by the museum in 2010 courtesy of funds from the Caroline Julier and James G. Richardson Acquisition Fund. In Mali, these hand-dyed cotton damasks are created by the women of certain matrilineal societies. This piece struck a chord with me because it's one of the things you need to see in real life to truly appreciate. The dye patterns are fascinating and what makes it even more impressive is that these are hand-dyed by the women in Mali. The piece made me feel relaxed and gave me a sense of safety. Knowing it was created by mother's gave me a sense of comfort and I began to think about my mother and my grandmother's, which brought me a warm feeling inside.

Design of the Museum

I may look relatively upset, however this was my favorite part of the Harn Museum! This was the Water Garden that is just outside the Asian Collection. It definitely helped that the day I visited the museum the temperature was 65 degrees. The Water Garden was aesthetically pleasing and well lit by the 11am sun. This was a place I feel I could go to if I needed to study or just get a small escape from everyday life. The small waterfalls, exotic trees and plants, and beautiful glass windows gazing over the garden made this my favorite part in the entire museum.

Art and Core Values

This oil painting can be interpreted one of two ways. It's called The Woodcutter by Robert Gwathmey. The artist was raised in a time and location when segregation was a common thing. Despite his upbringing, Gwathmey became a social and racial activist. It is because of this reason that I feel comfortable to state how this painting relates to my core values and beliefs. The painting depicts two African-American men working hard to chop wood with axes. The reason I chose this to embody my values is because I believe in hard work and doing a job to the best of one's ability. Although slavery was in no terms a positive thing, the photo struck a nerve in me because it showed me people getting a job done regardless of whether they wanted to or not, and taking pride in it and getting it done properly.

Art and the Good Life

This painting is Composition After Botticelli, by Werner Drewes. This was the work I chose to represent the good life because as we had discussed in discussion; the good life is subjective to everyone, every has different meanings and purposes in life that give their life worth. This is an abstract painting which means to everyone, they may see different images. The beauty of abstract art is the combination of colours and the use of different shapes. I had visited the museum with some friends and we mutually agreed that this painting appeared different to all of us, which is why I decided it is the painting that embodies the question "What is the Good Life?".

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