Good Life Tour of the Harn By Meghan Citty

Moon Bridge at Kameido (1914)

One particular piece of artwork that stood out to me for its unique style and use of watercolors on wood, was "Moon Bridge at Kameido." In this painting, we see several young Japanese girls playing on a bridge underneath a beautiful iconic Japanese cherry blossom tree. The artist’s use of soft neutral colors highlights the delicacy and innocence of the subjects in the piece. However, the image you see above does not do the painting justice. Witnessing this piece of art in person allowed me to see all of the detailed woodwork carvings imbedded in this image that are not visible in the picture you see above. While standing only feet away from this painting, I felt a deeper connection to the artist because I could see their individual carving and brush strokes. Looking at this painting made me imagine a beautiful Japanese garden and the bridge standing over a glistening pond. I felt both at peace and intrigued by what the subjects in the piece were doing and what their stories were. Overall, I developed a great appreciation for Japanese art for its simplicity yet attention to detail.

David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing

The Harn is filled with numerous beautiful exhibits to display artwork, however the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing stood apart from the rest. The floors, shelves, and main entrance were made of stunning red wood illuminated by spotlights hanging from the ceiling. The artwork was either arranged on wood shelving, elevated by a white podium block, or if it was especially large, laying on the ground. Each individual piece of art not on shelves was evenly spaced out which allowed for adequate room for people to walk around comfortably and admire art from both up close and a distance. The intense spotlight lighting illuminated key features in the works of art scattered around the room. The atmosphere shifted once you entered the exhibit to a more refined and modern take on displaying artwork. The creative use of wood, adequate lighting, and spacing of the pieces made for an overall aesthetically pleasing experience that left the viewer feeling relaxed yet interested.

Ever since I can remember I have always been a Florida Gator. Most of my family have attended the University of Florida before me including both of my parents. To me, being a Gator is so much more than where I go to school, but where I have grown up. I was raised here in Gainesville going to football, basketball, and baseball games and always cheering for my Gators. This piece of artwork speaks to me and my core values because I value my family and I cherish the memories I’ve made here at UF both as a student and while growing up in Gainesville. This piece depicts a bird’s eye view of an alligator swimming in a body of water. The artist uses small brush strokes to create the appearance of water and the blurring image of the alligator’s body just below the surface. After viewing this artwork, I felt at home because it reminded me of something I have cherished my whole life.

Linenfold Table Lamp (1920)

This piece of artwork is a beautiful table lamp from the year 1920. This lamp embodies the elegance and refinery of the “roaring 20’s” which is why it evokes the Good Life theme of Celebrating the Good Life. The 1920’s was a time of great wealth and prosperity for many Americans. After the first world war, people often took advantage of every opportunity to celebrate their new good life. It communicates the theme of celebrating the good life because it is always lit and “alive” from within. The beautiful bronze and favrile-fabrique exterior captures the essence of a time period where everyone often celebrated the good life. This piece of art helped add to my appreciation of this theme because when I saw the lamp, it “took me back” to that time and allowed me to connect with the era through the most common of household pieces. Overall, the artwork made me feel connected to that period of time where extravagant celebration, community, and fellowship just for the sake of it, was widely practiced.


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

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