Good Life Tour of the Harn Julia johnston

Medium of the Art / Technique of the Artist

Gilt wood seated bodhisattva

The Harn Museum features amazing X-rays of the Korean Gilt Wood Seated Bodhisattva within the Asian Art Wing. This piece of art was taken to the hospital where they performed an X-ray on the statue, which was able to show us the texture of the wood. I gravitated towards this particular piece due to the fact that it was irregular. When I think of art, of course I think of different mediums, but the first things that come to mind are paint, clay, photography, etc. I definitely think this was a piece of art that I had more appreciation for in person rather than seeing it in a website or a book. I also seemed to gravitate towards these images due to my likes. I have a genuine interest in the understanding of science and medicine, and I plan to pursue a career in nursing. This particular medium was striking to me because it solidified what I believed to be true; science is an art. The X-ray made me feel intrigued, yet also confirmed the feeling that I want to pursue a career in medicine. The X-ray was powerful in the way that it was real. Although this X-ray was taken of a bodhisattva who was sculpted out of wood, these images make the character seem humanlike and realistic. I think the use of art for the understanding of science, and what it portrays to us as a society, is extremely fascinating and that is why this piece spoke to me.

Design of the Museum

David A. Cofrin asian art wing

The David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing stood out to me for a number of reasons. I definitely believe this to be the most unique wing within the Harn Museum due to the variety of aspects within the area. Within this wing, I was able to find pieces that enhanced my enjoyment of my visit to the museum. Here, I found the X-ray of the Bodhisattva, the Buddha, and the outside garden. One of the reasons this wing stood out to me was due to the different pieces of Asian Art within the same wing. It was amazing how the art could be so different, yet still fit into the same category with each other. Not only this, but the lighting definitely helped to enhance each piece of artwork. Whether it be the spotlights on the floor pointing up at a particular piece, or the light shining behind the X-rays, each worked to contribute something to the piece. In terms of the use of the space, I felt as though the outside garden was a wonderful addition to the area. I visited the museum on a perfect Florida day, warm and sunny. Being able to step outside of the walls of the museum and into a different aspect of the artwork, I was able to appreciate the beauty in nature. I found this addition to be extremely symbolic due to the fact that although the art within the Harn is man made, the elements of nature within the museum are not. Yet, they still display an amazing sense of beauty, giving visitors an appreciation for our world. This exhibit definitely made me feel at ease.

Art and Core Values

the art of Marilyn minter

The art of Marilyn Minters stood out to me due to its message that pertains to the core values of the Good Life. Throughout the course of the semester thus far, we have discussed beauty, what it means to be beautiful, and the idea of self-expression. The artwork of Marilyn Minters spoke to me due to the fact that it was extremely unique and different from any other piece within the museum. This semester, I have better appreciated the meaning of beauty and what it means to be an individual. This artwork strengthened those ideas because of the message that it portrayed. To me, beauty is not simply about looks and aesthetics. A person can be beautiful in a variety of ways, biologically like Henrietta Lacks, or symbolically like Frida Kahlo. When viewing this artwork, I immediately thought of Frida Kahlo. This Mexican woman had appealing aesthetics, but what made her beautiful was her sense of style and self-expression. Kahlo made use of her clothes, her shoes, her jewelry, and everything that had to do with her personal style, ultimately displaying a sense of individualism. The artwork of Minters spoke to me because it better helped me both cherish and believe that beauty does not simply refer to aesthetics, and that individualism is an important core value to achieving the Good Life.

Art and the Good Life

the buddha

After reading the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, the buddha in the Asian Art Wing spoke to me due to its meaning pertaining to the Good Life. Before this course, I can honestly say that I did not have much appreciation for the Buddha, nor did I really understand what achieving the Good Life really meant. What I have to come to learn, however, is that the Good Life is subjective and every individual has their own core values and individual goals in order to attain this state of tranquility. To me, the Buddha definitely represents the Good Life. This statue represents enlightenment, as does the book Siddhartha. This piece of work evokes this theme of the enlightenment due to the Buddha's state of peace and tranquility that it is obvious that this statue illustrates. I also find it significant that this work of art was placed in the middle of this particular room, within a glass display box. To me, this represents the importance of finding enlightenment and the Good Life as an individual. Yes, there will always be people who hinder or help your journey, but essentially, you will only reach true happiness by means of yourself. The Buddha represents the important of standing as an individual and displays an appreciation for the Good Life.

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