The Harn Museum of Art Sean Pedersen

Medium of the Art and Technique of the Artist

The sculptures at the Harn all were far more interesting in person. However, what struck me the most was the power of the photographs of the devastation in Syria. Having seen many of these pictures on the news, I had become desensitized to the sight of decimated buildings and injured children. However, The inundation of these pictures and their isolation from outside distraction highlighted the human aspect, and more importantly, the psychological and physical toll war takes. Likewise, all the photographs in the "Spotlight: Latin America" and various sculptures from "Elusive Spirits: African Masquerades" were much more interesting in the calm environment of the museum.

Design of the Museum

While a beautiful museum overall, my favorite exhibit was the "Highlights from the Asian Collection." The gallery, pictured in the title slide, was gorgeous, with dark hardwood flooring and an open floor-plan. Likewise, the atmosphere felt very airy and open due to the large floor-to-ceiling windows which showcased a beautiful oriental garden. Overall, the exhibit had an aura of optimism and positiveness, a welcome to the otherwise dim, cluttered path through the other exhibits.

Art and Core Values

The photograph below was taken in the "Aftermath: The Fallout of War—America and the Middle East" exhibit, and quite graphically encapsulates the emotions that war evokes. My father, as well as many close family friends, were deployed to Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom. I was only six while my dad was deployed, and never truly knew what he went through. These photographs help to shed light on the emotions my own family and friend went through when they lived in a war zone. Likewise, these photos exemplify how unbelievably lucky I am to live in a safe, prosperous country, where the fear of my home being destroyed never crosses my mind.

Art and the Good Life

The exhibit that challenged social norms the most was the "Intra-Action: Women Artists from the Harn Collection," specifically the works by The Guerrilla Girls.

These works in particular highlight the hypocrisy in the art world against women. Many works of art center around women, and have a particular affinity for nude female models. However, there is a massive disparity between the amount of male and female artists. The works in the exhibit satirize the "necessity" for women to be nude in artwork by giving classic female nude artworks guerrilla heads. This theme of equality was rampant throughout the exhibit, and reminded me that despite the great strides that have been made, still more are necessary to ensure proper equal and fair treatment for all.

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