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Essays on museum of art
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This cultural response essay will discuss my trip to the museum of fine arts in houston i will be describing my favorite works of art, compare two pieces. Essay, paragraph or speech on “a visit to a museum” complete paragraph or speech for class 10, class 12 and graduation and other classes. Interesting art essays on the the history of color photography, from the #lovehustle of creative labor, and how to wear your backpack. Sample essay -why visit museums topic: another great work of art which is never allowed to leave its museum is picasso’s guernica.
My Trip into Art
On my journey, I traveled to the Los Angeles County Museum. The museum was huge
and spacious. Most of the floor plan was dedicated to a luxurious walkway, with a
water fountain for people to throw in coins. Also, there were a multitude of cafes, and
vendors on the site.
The museum had many exhibits ranging from Modern to African, Greek and Roman,
European, Egyptian and Persian. I saw all of the exhibits, but my favorite was the
European, especially art from the Renaissance and Classical eras. The detail, intricacy,
and realism, despite the works often depicting fantastical and surreal events, rival
anything today's artists may come up with.
It is my opinion that many of today's artists are being unduly and even inappropriately
lauded. Many of their works are just splashes, globs, and strokes on a canvas that a
preschooler could do. Although some modern pieces are extremely impressive,
especially the ones that capitalize on visual illusions and get people to think about
how they perceive reality.
I walked slowly around the museum, carefully examining the various works of each
and every exhibit. By doing this I selected four works of art that I thought were
exceptional. That does not mean that I necessarily liked the art because a few of the
pieces were not in my taste, but despite this I recognized that these artists struggled
and took great pains to make their visions a reality.
One of the weirdest and most disturbing works that I have ever seen was done by
Victor Brauner, who was born in 1903 and died in 1966. His work was titled "Suicide at
Dawn," and from far away it looks as if a man is engaging in a homosexual act with
The Devil. However, up close it becomes even more sickening. The man is as the title
explains, committing suicide. He is ripping himself out of his own skin through his
stomach. I don't have any idea what it could mean, so I will not attempt to interpret it.
Another weird but not as unpleasant piece was done by Pablo Picasso. His piece was
titled "Minotauromachy." This work was done as a pencil sketch, and it is a surreal
world depicting a little girl and a Minotaur. The little girl is not scared of the beast, but
appears to be talking to the creature.
One of my favorite pieces was done by Johann Heinrich Fussli. He was born February
7, 1741 and died April 16, 1825. His painting was inspired by Book Two of Paradise
Lost, written by John Milton. The work is titled "Satan and Death with Sin Intervening."
It depicts Satan and Death fighting with each other, while Sin is trying to push them
The last is a sculpture that was done by John Graham Lough, who was born in 1789
and died in 1876. The sculpture is inspired from MacBeth Act II Scene IV. It depicts a
stable of horses fighting each other in a savage frenzy. It is supposed to foreshadow
the murder of Duncan, King of Scotland.
For the second half of the assignment I visited the online site for El Museo del Prado,
one of the worlds most famous art galleries. El Prado is located in Madrid, the capital
city of Spain. It was established in 1819, and houses the largest collection of
European art ranging from the 12th century to the 19th century.
This is not to say that the digital images of art works online are not beautiful. El
Prado's online site has many beautiful images of their most famous artists' works.
Because El Prado is in Spain, and focuses primarily on European art from Medieval
times to the 19th century, many of the paintings and sculptures showcased are of a
very religious content. One of the artists that I have focused on is called "El Greco" he
was born in 1541 and died in 1614.
One of his most famous pieces is christened "Cristo con la Cruz," "Christ with the
Cross." It shows Jesus with the crown of thorns on his head walking with the cross,
about to be crucified. What is remarkable about this piece is that Christ does not
appear to be experiencing pain and fatigue as he must have surely been before his
crucifixion. He was tortured and mocked by the guards, hours before he was crucified.
He is also smiling and looking up to Heaven, evidently communing with "God the
The second artist that I am interested in is named Brueghel The Elder. He was born
in1525 and died 1569. A very pessimistic man, most of his paintings focus on the
subject of death and suffering. The one that I will discuss is called "El Triunfo de la
Muerte," "The Triumph of Death."
It was common for people to die early in life, the oldest age many people achieved
was around 50. So we can't blame him for focusing so much on such a somber subject.
This painting shows Death riding through town on an emaciated horse. The town is
littered with dead bodies and refuse, the living are fleeing death, many of them are
taking cover under coffin lids.
After visiting The LA County Art Museum and going onto El Prado's online site, I have
concluded that between actually visiting a museum, and going to an internet site,
there can be no contest. Looking at something on a computer is completely different
from actually looking at it with your own eyes, being able to touch it with your own
fingers. (Although museums and art galleries do not want you touching anything in
their exhibits, unless you are going to buy it. However it is a good probability that a
museum will generally not let you buy any of its pieces.)
Both have their advantages, if you are planning to go to a museum, then you should
probably do a little research first by going online and identifying what exhibits the
museum has, whether or not it will be doing promotional offers on the day of your
visit, if the museum has a special guest speaker. By doing this you will ensure that
your trip will not only be educational, but also fun. However, going online is no
substitute for actually being there, and experiencing first hand everything that your
senses and your heart can tell you.
I believe that museums are both a place to store valuable artifacts, and that they are
a place to have a positive experience. However I also believe that many of the
artifacts in a museum would lose their value if they were removed. Most people don't
have the money or the desire to own such artifacts, and some of the artifacts in
museums are little more than junk. Modern artists have a tendency to use pieces of
junk in their works, as I learned when I went to the LA Museum. One such modern art
piece even had a piece of a credit card as part of its art, among various other bits and
pieces of rubbish. Many great sculptures that were chiseled long ago have been
reduced to rubble. Sometimes, the damage is so severe that the sculpture cannot be
Another interesting fact about museums is that they often hide their most valuable,
and interesting objects in the back. Sometimes, these objects are pored over, and
studied; however most of the time these objects that have the ability to transport us
to another place and time just collect dust.
In response to the quote "Museums preserve, collect, and educate the public and
convey standards about art's value and quality-but whose standards and how?" I
believe that museums collect pieces of history, and attempt to take each individual
who crosses their thresholds on a trip through time.
Unfortunately, we can never actually experience what life was like for people who lived
ages ago. Even worse we tend to focus on the lives of people who were rich and
important members of society in their time, we really don't care about the lives of the
poor. Many museums, especially the very first ones reflected the artistic standards of
the rich, especially those who were white and male. Now there are museums for
everything and everyone. These museums are dedicated to those who have
established them, often the people who established these museums belong to a sub
culture that is going against the mainstream.
Museums have long been places where only the wealthy and influential could go. Many
museums, until a few decades ago prominently featured exhibits about European art.
They also had ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman exhibits, but they did not have any
art from minority groups, they weren't representing everybody. As a result newer
museums emerged which catered to minority groups, or even to individuals. In order
to stay in business, older museums broadened their collections, and tried to tailor fit
their exhibitions to as many people as possible. The more famous and renowned
museums may even have pre show entertainment such as cultural music that may
feature African drummers and dancers, or cultural exhibits from other countries and
nationalities. "Money, markets, museums: Museums and the Millions." p. 93.
Cyntia Freeland the author of Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction makes many
references to an article written by Arthur Danto. The article is titled "Museums and the
Thirsting Millions," and Freeland uses this reference to explore the chronology of how
museums started. The first public museum was established in 1793, after the
overthrow of the French Monarchy. The Louvre, like a few royal palaces in other
European countries was converted. "Money, markets, museums: Museums and the
Public." p. 96.
Likewise Mr. Danto refers to another's work, in his article he references The Golden
Bowl. A novel written by Henry James, and though it is a work of fiction, the scenario is
all too real. In the novel a wealthy American collects European art to bring home for a
private museum. With this collection he plans to educate and civilize the "urban
barbarians." "Money, markets, museums: Museums and the Public."p. 98.
I believe it is plainly evident that Ms Freeland shares many viewpoints with Mr. Danto,
who also agrees with Mr. James. They are detailing that many museums are started as
private collections by wealthy owners, and they are asserting the belief that the rich
who start these institutions for public benefit, look down on the very people that they
are trying to help.
They also believe that many of the wealthy who have such grand collections do not
really appreciate what they are collecting. According to John Dewey who was quoted
for this article, "The typical collector is the typical capitalist."
I encountered a real life example at The LA County Museum. Many of the pieces in the
Roman and Greek exhibits were actually part of William Randolph Hearst's private
collection, who donated the pieces after his death on August 14, 1951. William
Randolph Hearst was the biggest publishing tycoon of the 19th and 20th centuries,
and is best known for his self named "Hearst Castle" which he designed himself. He
based his castle on those he had seen in Europe, and brought over countless works of
art from Greece, Rome, and the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Most of these
priceless pieces can still be viewed at his historic home. Hearst Castle Hearst San
Simeon State Historical Monument: .
Another tycoon and art collector, J. Paul Getty is described by an anonymous
biographer as buying only pieces that he thought were good bargains."He would
study the X-rays of a painting to determine its origin but reject it if the cost per square
inch seemed too high." J. Paul Getty the founder of Getty Oil Company, is said to have
had a very high image of himself, to the point of narcism. Getty is quoted as saying "I
feel no qualms or reticence about likening the Getty Oil Company to an Empire-and
myself to a Caesar." He also referred to common people as "barbarians" and stated
that they could not become civilized unless they acquired an appreciation for art.
This statement is completely insensitive and ridiculous, and yet it is also correct in a
sense. Art exposes people to new ideas, new ways to perceive reality. As Pablo
Picasso stated "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." Art is one of the
universal modes of expression, and it is one way to achieve immortality. If your art is
exceptional, if it speaks to others, then your name may be able to speak from the
grave long after you have drawn your last breath.
Works Cited Page
Freeland, Cyntia. Art Theory: A Very Short Introduction: "Money, Markets, Museums"
Oxford University Press, 2003
Hearst Castle Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument: .
I did this for my "Art History" class, it was the only homework I had to do. I finally got my essay back. Out of 100 points, I recieved 85. That's pretty good, but I
think I should have earned a higher grade. Oh well, my teacher took off 15 points becauses she didn't believe that I cited everything properly, and because I
forgot to double space it when I turned it in. If I had double spaced it, I would have gotton an A-.