The Harn Museum of Art: Good Life Tour Anna mcbride

Medium of the Art

This piece by an unknown Mauritanian artist depicts the fabric used to make a woman's veil. Both the color of the veil and the thread, and the patterns used convey the woman's individual style, as well as her social and religious role. Seeing the artwork in person, you notice the individual stitches and details go unnoticed in the photograph. You can tell that a considerable amount of time and effort was put into making the piece. The medium of the work was fabric, immediately making it stand out from the other pieces in the museum and catch my eye. I appreciated the choice in medium, as the fabric itself tells a story that could not have been told if the veil were simply painted on a canvas. It holds meaning, as though the exact veil had been worn by a Muslim woman and now carries her stories. It makes you feel a sense of connection to the piece in a way other mediums of art could not.

Design of the Museum

The design of this gallery in the museum first stood out because of it's color scheme. Turning the corner into the large exhibit hall, my eye was immediately drawn to this corner because the rest of the room was painted bright colors, and everything in this gallery was black and white. The simple colors and geometric layout of the photographs and hanging pieces make this gallery extremely calming to the eye. Each piece flows into the next and they mesh together so seamlessly that it isn't overwhelming; this design of the artwork tells a story. Looking at the gallery evokes a feeling of order and peace, as though the simplistic nature of the artwork alone can calm you down.

Art and Core Values

This piece of art, or collection of artworks, is actually a book that has been taken apart in order to show all the pages. The artist, Louise Bourgeois, grew up in New York as the daughter in a family tapestry business. The pages of this book are made form the scraps of fabrics made by the family business, paying homage to family and the past. This appeals to my core value of family by appreciating both the positive and negative aspects of the past and family life. Not everything in the book is happy, in fact, her childhood was filled with many traumatic memories. Through this artwork, I was able to reflect on the meaning of family and honoring the past while also understanding the importance of acknowledging the bad times along with the good. It instills in me a sense of respect, and even sadness; respect for the author in having the courage to so publicly display her hardships, and sadness in reflecting on hardships of my own. It teaches me to honor what I have now, and where I am in life, and to recognize that my life experiences have made me who I am today.

Art and the Good Life

This ceremonial costume was used in Egungun masquerades to honor ancestral spirits. The lavish design of the costume contributes to the overall meaning and purpose of the ceremony itself, never revealing the human body underneath. This ceremonial costume represents culture and tradition; those aspects specific to and defining of a people and their beliefs. This embodies the central theme of Celebrating the Good Life. Ceremony and celebration allow people to experience aspects of their culture that define their lives. By honoring their ancestors, they celebrate their lives and the legacies they have left behind. This costume allows me to appreciate the theme of Celebrating by experiencing the traditions of other cultures and understanding the aspects of life that are important to them, that define their Good Life.

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