Humanity Essay Example: Past and Present
The Nelson Art Gallery first opened December 11, 1933. It has since then grown into the collection it is today. The gallery has many aspects learned throughout this class. Artists of different eras range from Van Gogh to John The Baptiste. Many features and characteristics of the learning units in class can be seen throughout the museum, as well as the museums architecture design resembles that of historical architecture this class talks about. Such as the three ordered columns during the Greek/Roman times, Archaic art like that of the Kouros, Oil on Canvas during the Baroque period and even Gothic style stained glass windows.
When first arriving at the gallery you overlook the shuttlecocks which are of the world’s largest scattered across the front lawn. Depending on where you parked your car you can see the walking wall that features the water terrain, sculpture park, gardens and much more. Journeying up a petite red-brick walkway hiking towards the front doors, my experience began at the front steps of the museum. There I noticed Ionic columns that ascended before me. Before taking this class these would have seemed like “normal” pillars to me, and by normal I mean I wouldn’t have put much thought behind it. However, now knowing that the design is in fact significant and was first introduced back in Greek/Roman times, they have a deeper meaning behind them. I understand the values they share today. These pillars represent a temple, in this instance a temple of the arts.
As Iwalk into the museum I am greeted with vast ceilings, concrete walls and floors, as well as the information desk. There are many visitors at this particular moment. After looking at the detailed directory, I immediately head for the Plaza level in the Bloch Building which carries the European Art between 1800 and 1945. The art ranges anywhere from French to British arts, and various other forms of European art. Arriving at the plaza level you are greeted with more pillars of the Corinthian style, marbled floors, high ceilings, walls with light blue skies and what seems to be naked children. Each room has a different color, different styles, and time periods featured. Each room contains many little information canvases next to each different artwork with the works title, the artist, and a description/analysis of the work; and one larger information canvas that describes what the main focal point featured in the room such as Impressionism.
The first focal point I observed was Neoclassicism of the 1700’s which highlighted Baroque, Romanticism, and Renaissance. Before taking this class I wouldn’t have looked for the differences of these assorted art works. To me they were just beautiful paintings. However when taking consideration for the works I sought for the more obvious differences. Christ On The Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt was truly a sight. In particular this foremost caught my eye because of the alluding Biblical theme which was a leading characteristic of Romanticism, that we learned about in unit three. This picture showed a dramatic and emotional scene where Jesus’s disciples tackle a violent storm whilst Jesus sleeps. The illuminating effects of light and dark Rembrandt draws your attention towards the massive waves whereas the disciples are trying to save the boat. Glancing at this it suggests imagination and commemoration of nature. Humanities Past and Present showed me the specific characteristics to look for in a work such as lighting, contrasting, coloring, detailing and much more. I would have thought this painting to be a pleasing art of sailors in a storm. Not much analysis would have been put behind this work.
My perspective towards art has changed, although I have always appreciated art. I appreciate art in a more elaborate and less subtle way. Previously art to me was about understanding it. Now I seek to understand and feel it. Engaging with the work helps to understand the relationship I have with it. More uncertainty and perspective allows for a more balanced mastery. Even with the characteristics of different artworks, it goes beyond knowing the category it falls in but what message the artist is conveying to the viewer and my emotional experience with the piece. My relationship with art before taking this class was only focused on its beauty, not its message.
Book vs. Real Life
Situating my knowledge from the book towards a real-life experience also helped to develop my thoughts and opinions of what I read. Engaging in the material in a visual/hands on interaction made it more effective in my understanding of what Humanities Past and Present is about. Humanities is about the history of culture and human society. Art is one aspect factored into what is considered culture and apart of the humanities study. To my understanding arts is the fundamentals of sense of self. It impresses one's values and experiences throughout time. Literature, sculpture, dance, theatre, music, and painting are pieces to society’s showcase of memory. This class taught me art and life are one unit; art participates in the shaping of our worldviews. And one expresses themselves through their own cultural language.
In this experience I learned that art is more than just that of beauty. Many artists in their works have incorporated a deeper meaning or perspective. Art is open for imagination, opinion and interpretation. Art is a connection between the art itself, the artist, and the spectator. When seeking different works look for characteristics, detail, imagery; you will find the differences and similarities. The common connection they all share, culture is expressed through this. Art is finding one's value and experiences; expressing it through the various art forms. It showcases the memories of time. The Nelson Art gallery portrays the different cultures ranging from the earliest civilizations to modern day society. It allows one to exhibit their identity and opinion. The Nelson Art gallery is one of many showcases of history we have today. The experience is exhilarating and refreshing. Leaving the gallery I felt a new confidence in understanding what I have learned throughout this course and I truly grasped its concept.