By Dr. Lee Anne Chesterfield, Harn Museum of Art Director
When individuals are exposed to art, it can be a transformative experience. An experience that lasts a lifetime and which deepens and furthers their personal connection to the people, places, and things around them. Since opening in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida has been a cornerstone of the North Central Florida arts and culture ecosystem and is dedicated to providing these art experiences through free admission.
The Harn’s collecting areas of African art, Asian art, modern art, contemporary art, and photography each have a dedicated gallery within the museum with frequently rotating works. In addition to dedicated collection galleries, the Harn Museum of Art is excited to announce the following major exhibitions that will be on view and travelling to the Harn.
Speechless: Text & Image in Global Culture
June 7, 2022 – December 30, 2022
“Speechless: Text & Image in Global Culture” is a fascinating look at how words, aesthetics, and materials have supported religious, political, and socio-cultural agendas for millennia. Drawn from the Harn’s five collecting areas, the exhibition looks at the use of words within a rich selection of matrices that cover a range of cultures and periods. From 19th century BCE to the present, “Speechless” includes such diverse forms as a cuneiform-inscribed cone used for political propaganda, illuminated manuscripts from Europe and Ethiopia that served as artful prayers, and Chinese scrolls that join poetry with painting. More contemporary works include cubist and surrealist use of words for graphic or psychological effect, and post-WWII street photographs that revel in words as urban design. Throughout human history, texts within art or craft have communicated reflection, persuasion, and delight to viewers, shoring up or challenging ideas of power, tradition, identity, and beauty.
Posing Beauty in African American Culture
January 31, 2023 – June 4, 2023
“Posing Beauty in African American Cultures” explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through a diverse range of media including photography, video, fashion, and advertising. This exhibition challenges the relationship between beauty and art by examining the representation of beauty and different attitudes about aesthetics through the themes of “Constructing a Pose,” “Body & Image,” and “Modeling Beauty & Beauty Contests.” “Posing Beauty in African American Culture” is curated by Deborah Willis, renowned photography historian, and organized by Curatorial Assistance Traveling Exhibitions, Pasadena, California.