Good Life tour of the Harn By: jasmine benavidez

Walking into the museum, the Old Man's cloth was the first piece of artwork that I encountered. At first I didn't know what it was or what the meaning was behind it. Once I learned about this piece of work and the technique that the artist (El Anatsui) used to make this artwork come to life, it was one of my favorites out of any other artifact in the museum. This piece of art work was created by brand-name liquor bottle caps that were flattened, pieced together with strips of "Kente cloth". It signified a part of history when trading between Africa and Europe was fraught. The Old Man's cloth allowed me to make a connection with a piece of Ghana's history. Also what this artwork one of kind was there is only about 50 throughout the world and one of them is here at the University of Florida.

The Asian Art wing was my favorite part of the museum. The fact that it had paintings, ancient china, and a nature walk allowed me to gain a sense of Asia's past time. I've always been intrigued with ancient artwork from countries such as Asia and China, so I believe that is why I loved this area of the museum so much. It was also very spacious so I felt like there was a lot to see.

I did some extra research online of the Harn Museum, and learned about the Korean artifacts that General James Van Fleet donated to the museum from Korea. Van Fleet served in WW2 & the Korean War, he soon established the "Korea Society", a non-profit organization that was meant to create a friendly relationship between the U.S and Korea. The organization was created to respect Korea's artifacts, culture, and etc. One of my core values is to create a respectful relationship with people from different backgrounds and cultures just like General Van Fleet did.

Just like what we have been reading for the first two weeks of class, the theme "Seeking the good life" has been controversial. For some living a good life is having materialistic things, but for Thoreau and Siddhartha self-realization and loving free was escaping from the materialistic things and appreciate the real beauty of nature. This picture was taken at the walk way that was part of the Asian art wing, walking through this was peaceful and breathe taking. I believe things like this should be put throughout campus because it is peaceful and away from materialistic things. Thoreau and Siddhartha really expressed how materialistic things distract us from the real beauty of nature, and coming to this allowed me to realize that. Many times I'm at the library and it can get loud. Being outside can relax me and allow me to just focus on myself.

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Jasmine Benavidez
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