My View of the Harn Museum of Art what is the good life?

Tiffany, Louis Comfort. Eighteen-Light Pond Lily Lamp. Favrile glass and bronze. 1902.

The Harn Museum features a variety of art mediums including sculpture, canvases and photography. Towards the beginning of the tour an exhibit containing a lamp sculpture fascinated me due to its light aspect. Unlike most art that is a still portrait or landscape, this lamp by Louis Comfort Tiffany is ornate in nature and contains an electric, illuminating element. It communicated the idea that not all art needs to include paint and brushes. Rather it can be absolutely anything that contains creativity and technique.

Spotlight: Latin America exhibit at the Harn Museum
Art of Pablo Picasso in the Spotlight: Latin America exhibit at the Harn Museum

The Spotlight: Latin America exhibit was one of the most interesting exhibits to me because of my interest in the subjects. I have studied Spanish for six years and have therefore studied Spanish artists and art. While walking through the exhibit I continuously recognized the artists names. I have studied these artists for so long, but seeing their art in person was a great experience. The artists were represented from countries spanning from South America to the Caribbean to Central America which created such diversity in the style of art and concepts they included. This exhibit was set up with multiple walls filled with art of 37 artists. Generally each wall included a different artist which allowed visitors to differentiate between artists and styles easily.

Guerrilla Girls and Intra-Action exhibits at the Harn Museum

One of the most captivating and engaging exhibits contained art solely from female artists. Both Guerrilla Girls and Intra-Action contained feminine artists work that ranged from feminist advertisements to paintings. Guerrilla Girls exhibited advertisements displaying facts about the lack of celebrated feminine artists as well as the often nude approach to art of women. It used broad headlines and captivating photography to attract viewers to each piece. Unlike most intricate, culturally-based art throughout the Harn Museum, this exhibit brought an emotionally connecting response to female viewers as facts provide a feminist atmosphere. I connected with the art featured here because of its emotional ties to my beliefs that women should be fairly celebrated for their accomplishments in art and that women should be portrayed in a different manner as they are equals of men. The core value of embodying is present in this exhibit as the gender of a woman should not be a limiting factor in any area, especially that of art. Following Guerrilla Girls is an area containing female artists. Here, I found the work of Yvonne Jacquette to be captivating due to its contrasting black-and-white scheme and landscapes of urban cities at night. Her work was some of my favorites from the entire museum. Due to my love of metropolitan cities and traveling, I really connected with her art and found inspiration within it.

Murray, Nickolas. Frida Kahlo on White Bench. Color carbon print. 1939.

The theme of "The Good Life" can be established in any piece of art as artists strive to convey aspects of their life due to their love of art. The first exhibit that I viewed in the Harn Museum was one that surveyed the life of Frida Kahlo through portraits depicting scenes of her life. From photos of her and her husband to ones of herself painting, these photographs displayed the life of this renowned artist. What many people do not know about Kahlo is her physical limitations due to a dangerous accident she was involved in while in school. This limited her mobility and created not only physical but mental disabilities for her. As as any artist does, Kahlo expressed herself through her art. One specific photo that engrossed me was one that showed her painting her own chest cast. This photo depicts the beauty that can come out of a horrid situation and shows the positivity and creativity that can emerge as a result. The good life is a search for happiness and fulfillment in life and through this exhibit I learned yet another way that people can find their ending in this quest - by finding the light and beauty in any situation that life gives you.

All photos were taken by myself at the Harn Museum of Art.

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