Harn Museum of Art

Medium of Art and the Technique of the Artist

While touring the Harn Museum of Art, the canvas paintings in the hallway before the main exhibits sparked my interest the most. The vivid details of each brush stroke is emphasized on canvas and the colors are able to blend well within the painting. Canvas paintings truly show the emotion of the artist and the themes the painting portrays. A painter using a canvas as a medium can put more emphasis on a certain area of the painting to show more emotion or other underlying ideas. Although not visible through pictures, the human eye can see portions of the oil jut out of the canvas. Many famous works, like the Mona Lisa, are painted on canvas because of these reasons. The texture of paint on this medium brings out emotions, cultures, and painting styles, that other mediums cannot.

Upper Left: Canvas paintings of a palm tree by the sea and an alligator swimming. Bottom Left: Canvas painting of a platter of food

Design of the Museum

The overall design of the Harn Art Museum was flowing and simple, following a circular design that allowed you too see each exhibit equally throughout your visit. Each section of the museum represented different arts of the world. From Africa and Asia to Latin and South America, each section of the museum has a variety of arts from hundreds of cultures. Specifically, the two small garden exhibits near the center of the museum enticed me. Both of the gardens had floors comprised of pebbles and rocks that contrasted will with the plants. The lighting of the exhibit allowed us to view the sculpture that was placed in the center and the plants easily. The single sculpture along with the plants gave a sense of peace and simplicity. The pristine atmosphere inside the garden showed the beauty of nature with the art.

Criser Garden containing a sculpture and plants within a bed of rocks and stones

Art and Core Values

The most interesting section of the entire museum was the Asian art section. With my family history originating from China, I felt a connection to the atmosphere the art and the placement of the art created. This exhibit's initial difference compared to the rest of the museum was the entrance. The entrance is comprised of hardwood stretching all the way back to the garden that allowed the natural sunlight to flood the room.

Hardwood floors and fixtures that were prominent throughout the exhibit and met with a huge window exposing the natural garden

The first part of the exhibit included vast amounts of jade artwork. Their colors ranges from a cream color to a faint green to a light brown. The craftsmanship and detail of each piece really showed the culture and life of the time period in Asia. The second part was a Korean art room withing the Asian exhibit. In the center of the room was an old Buddha piece of art that is thought to have a soul or some being within it. Finally, the exhibit finished with an outside garden that featured a different variety of plants. Due to my family background I felt more connected to the art and imagining what life was like so long ago and how did the lifestyle of these people play into the way they created art.

Outside in the Asia exhibit garden surrounded by different types of trees, grasses, and shrubs.

Art and the Good Life

While my friends and I were touring the museum, we were lucky to talk to one of the workers who told us a portion of the life story of Frida Kahlo. She was a famous Mexican painter in the early 1900's that powered through her struggles to be able to paint and display her artwork. The museum employee explained to us that Kahlo was a great painter, but during her career she was involved in a street car accident that broke her back causing her to stay in bed most of the time. In addition to her physical struggles, she was a strong proponent for communism and social change in Mexican society that resulted in a lot of criticism.

Painting of Frida kahlo at the entrance of the exhibit

Even though she faced a great deal of criticism for her beliefs and her injuries from the street car accident, Frida Kahlo was still able to express her ideas with her photography and her paintings. Her works and ability to overcome difficulties in her life shows the strength she has and her embodiment of the theme of living the good life.

Left: Frida Kahlo eating and painting in her bad while recovering from a street car accident that resulted in a broken back. Right: Kahlo with a sickle and hammer emblem, expressing her communism beliefs.

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