The Harn Museum A Narrative by Danielle little

I made a trip to the Harn Museum at the University of Florida and got to experience 1) how the medium of the art or the technique of the artist contributes to your enjoyment of the artwork, (2) how the design of the museum guides your experience, (3) how the artwork appeals to your core values, and (4) how good life themes resonate in the artwork.

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Photographed by Danielle Little on March 16,2017

The reason why experiences are so special is because most things are so much more impactful when experienced in person as opposed to seeing another person's photograph or hearing their telling a story of it. As seen with many artworks, pieces appear and have a much different impact on viewers when the piece is viewed in person compared to when the piece is viewed through a screen. In order to fully understand an artwork, one must experience what it is like to view it in person. While at the Harn, one piece stuck out to me in particular. When I saw it from a distance I was initially confused because it looked like a huge pile of craziness having on the wall. However, my friend encouraged me to go up to it so that I could see what it really was. Once I was standing directly in front of this piece, I was amazed by the detail of the piece that I would have missed if I had not been able to examine it so closely. Even the picture posted above does not do justice to intricacy of the work. I found this to be striking because the artist takes a lot of differing textures but at the same time is able to tie them all together into a single work of art. One might even consider it to be distracting because there are so many different things going on in this piece. This could be communicating how diversity is not a bad thing, rather we can choose to take very different things and bring them together to unite in a single mesh.

The Design of the Museum

Photographed by Alexis Coelho on March 16, 2017 (Pictured, Danielle Little)

A museum could have a plethora of great artwork, however it would not be enticing to viewers if these pieces were poorly displayed. I greatly enjoyed the design of the entire museum; I liked how there were different wings and outdoor exhibits and wings that all had different approaches. For this piece in particular, it was all about its presentation that allowed me to truly appreciate it. The room was rather empty, however in the direct center of it stood this piece of artwork. I enjoyed the simplicity of this wing because it allowed you to truly focus your attention on each individual piece as opposed to the viewer's mind seeing one thing and then jumping to the next piece of art without fulling appreciating what was in front of them. I found the usage of space in this wing to be excellent.

Photographed by Alexis Coelho on March 16, 2017 (Pictured, Danielle Little)

In addition, above is another photo taken in the same wing as the previous photos discussed. Sometimes it is that simplicity can be more powerful than things in excess. I believe this to be true with artwork displayed in museums as well. I personally found the exhibits that had fewer pieces displayed and that were simpler to be more captivating than the walls that were filled with an abundance of pieces. Another reason why I loved this wing was because of the way this piece was presented. I loved how it was on its own wall, a simple white wall, because it allowed it to be easier for the viewer to focus solely on the artwork in front of them. I also really enjoyed the lightning in this wing as a whole; it was not too much lighting, but at the same time it was an adequate amount that it brought out the colors in each work of art. Leaving this wing, I felt peaceful as a result of the simplicity of the displays.

Artwork and Core Values

Photographed by Alexis Coelho on March 16, 2017 (Pictured, Danielle Little)

One thing that is spectacular about talented artwork is that it has the unique ability to draw emotions from its viewers. What is interesting to take into consideration is how the same piece of artwork can have many different effects on many different people. One piece of artwork that appealed to my own personal values was the piece that is pictured above. One of the biggest things that I value, if not THE biggest thing, is the importance of family. I believe this artist is trying to depict just how connected the family is. We see the two parents who are closely, almost in a sense even fused, together. But that is not all, then one can see how the two parents together are responsible for holding up the child, they are working together. This demonstrates how we cannot get through this life on our own, we need the support of the people around us and it is essential that we all work together to help one another out. This visual representation allows the viewer to see how we are all connected and that the support we receive from the people closest to us is crucial. This artwork evoked a sense of gratitude from me, wanting me to grow in appreciation of the people that I have surrounding me and helping me.

Art and the Good Life

Photographed by Alexis Coelho on March 16, 2017 (Pictured, Danielle Little)

There are many examples of how artwork can accurately coincide with what the Good Life looks like, whether that be sharing the Good Life, celebrating the Good Life, or even fighting for the Good Life. Frida Kahlo was a Mexican woman who was well known for her paintings. She was always courageous in her actions and was able to do whatever she set out to do, without giving up. At the age of 6, she was diagnosed with Polio which caused her to become bedridden. However, this did not put her down. She was determined to stay strong through her illness and come back better than ever. Some years later, she was involved in a serious car accident in which a street handrail went into her hip and came out the other side ( This left her severely impaired. While to many this would put a major hinderance in their lives and leave them feeling discouraged, Frida did not respond in this way to what had happened to her. She recognized that the Good Life is worth fighting for, and she was not going to allow an illness or an injury prevent her from reaching her Good Life. She spent a long amount of time recovering, but she wanted to to continue to make herself stronger and stronger so that she would be able to show the people around her that anything is possible; she was demonstrating what it looks like to fight for the Good Life.

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