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Event Critique Art Museum

Use the following format for your museum critique; answers must be typed
below the questions and all questions must appear in full on your final copy. You
can use this document as your template. Pay careful attention to the required
number of words for those questions that have them. Failure to follow the
instructions here and on your syllabus will result in a substantially low grade.
Minimal answers poorly written are a D grade or less. Elaboration of points,
excellent arguments, and good writing garner higher grades.
Name______ Sarah Cornia _________________
Class time period (not section number)____11:30am_____
1) Which museum did you visit? (check one) ___ Univ. of Utah __x_ BYU
2) In 150 words, describe at least one of the broad collections on a theme,
period, geographic region, or topic) within the museum.
In the Deco Japan exhibit there was a room that was a collection of art and
historical items that were all about the modern women of the Art Deco
movement. Just like in the United States, the 1920s opened new doors for
women and America got the Flapper and Japan go the Mogo. The Mogo was
Japans modern girl and all of the items in this collection were focused on the
Mogo, who just like the Flapper had short hair, red lips and modern clothing. In
the collection about the Mogo all the art and items focused around the signature
look. There is clothing, hair pins, makeup compacts, combs and all the art
pieces showed the Mogo with her short black hair and red lips. And just like the
rest of the Deco Japan exhibit this collection showed the combination of the
modern and the traditional. For example the hair clips were a traditional thing
for women in Japan but the Mogos would wear pins with more modern of
Western designs.
3) Give a brief, one paragraph (100 words) description of a special exhibit (ask
the curator what these are; they are usually in one of the first rooms):
My favorite exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art was Loving Devotion: Visions of
Vishnu, the pieces in the exhibit were older than most everything else being
displayed at the museum. The exhibit is focused on the worship of the Hindu
deity Vishnu and the many forms of Vishnu. It also shows the culture and lives
of the believers of Hinduism and how worshipping is a joyful experience for
them. The pieces being shown such as the many stone figures are things that
were used to worship Vishnu in private or public rituals. Along with the art this
exhibit has a more interactive aspect where you can practice good Karma, learn

who your ishta-devata is, and even follow along with a ritualistic Hindu dance.
4) What kind of information is provided about the works? Tell me three places
you might find more detailed information that doesnt include the web {hint:
ask a curator for help with this question}
The Loving Devotion: Visions of Vishnu exhibit provides information on each
piece or activity inside the exhibit either in the case with the art or covering the
walls. This particular exhibit also has an IPad app made by the museum, this
app gives the users a more interactive and informative experience in the
exhibit. The museum also provides books on Vishnu and Hinduism that anyone
going through the exhibit can read and learn from. Some information about the
exhibit has been shown in the media including BYUs own radio station and the
Deseret News. Also visitors of the museum can learn more about Vishnu and
themselves by taking the quiz that the exhibit offers. This quiz will tell you
which of Vishnus forms you are most strongly connected to, so which form you
would worship. Mine was Devi and I loved doing the quiz and learning about
that form of Vishnu.
5) Choose several works that particularly appealed to you. Explain why you
were drawn to these works. Comment on the subject, style, medium, time
period, etc. Who were the artists?) This question must be answered in its
entirety. (This should be at least 500 words
In the Deco Japan exhibit there was a few pieces of mens clothing from the
1930s time period that stuck out to me. The creator of these clothing pieces is
unknown but each of the pieces is made from printed silk. The time period of
Deco Japan was all about how Japan was becoming more modernized but also
keeping traditions. These clothing items appealed to me because it showed the
theme of Deco Japan in an obvious way because they were traditional Japanese
clothing pieces but each piece had modern things printed on them. One of the
under kimonos had skyscrapers printed on it. This clothing piece represented
the modernization of Japan but displayed on traditional clothing. Keeping the
same idea, the other clothes had movie sets and posters on them.
I love Peacocks, so it is now surprise that an Ornamental Peacock, made by
Kano Seiun II in the 1930s, stuck out to me. The bird is made out of gilt bronze
and mother-of-pearl inlay. The piece is really pretty and shiny, its geometric
design gives the peacock a more modern 1930s look. And I was surprised to
find out that the peacock, in Buddhist tradition, wards of natural disasters and
represents immortality. This peacock was made for purchase and decoration in
a Japanese home, and that can clearly be seen in its shine and in its Buddhist
Fox Spirits by Tsuda Shinobu is also from the Deco Japan exhibit and made in
the 1930s. The two foxes are made out of cast bronze and they caught my eye

because of their super sleek design and dark coloring. The artist actually used
sketches that he made of real foxes to help him shape the two small statues.
The oil canvas painting, Exchange No. 8 by Ron Richmond is one of the newer
pieces of art that caught my attention, it was made in 2004. The painting is of
two chairs, one standing with a white cloth draped over it and the other chair
tipped over with a red cloth over it. The picture follows the more abstract
depictions of Jesus Christ that have become more popular in the 20 th and 21st
centuries. The white and especially the red are very vibrant and this really
focuses the purpose of the art. This painting caught my attention because of my
own religious beliefs and because of my beliefs the painting holds a powerful
message for me, more so than other pieces of art. While I knew what the
painting was about, I was surprised to find that it tells several different
messages and not just my original thoughts.
The Vishnu Mandala was probably the most beautiful piece that I saw in the
museum. It was made in Nepal in the 18th or 19th century and is made of copper,
gold, rock crystals, pearls, garnet, turquoise, coral and amethysts. Its no
wonder why I think it is beautiful. The Vishnu Mandala is probably around three
feet in diameter and has a statue of Vishnu in the middle. The mandala is a
representation of the expanding universe and Vishnu is at the center or heart of
it all preserving and maintaining order. The mandala or sphere is a device that
worshipers use to help focus their mediation. Knowing that it is a representation
of the universe it makes complete sense to my why it looks the way it does and
why it contains so many different materials.
6) How did the artworks you looked at relate to material we have discussed in
class? {They do relate in many ways, you just need to look for those
relationships} Minimum of 150 words.
There were many ways that I saw how to relate the subjects in the art to
subjects that we have covered in class. We talked about both Hinduism and
Christianity in the spirituality section and there are many items in the museum
that are from those religions. It was particularly interesting to me to learn, read
and see depictions of Krishna and come to a better understanding of his
personality, because of the readings we had that involved him. The Deco Japan
exhibit had a collection focused on nationalism in 1930s Japan, this collection
made me think of the war section and readings, because nationalism and a
nations pride is often a cause of war and at some levels could be seen as
Mythic thinking. The museum also had an Origami exhibit and in the exhibit
there were, of course, paper cranes. Along with the display of cranes was the
story of Sadako. Sadako was a young girl from Hiroshima who got leukemia
because of the radiation from the atomic bomb. She was told that if she folded
a thousand paper cranes she would be giving a wish, if she did this she could
wish to be healed. Sadako tried to fold all the cranes but she died from her

leukemia. Sadakos story makes me think of Socrates and his view and
preparedness for death, I also think of all the class discussions on being
prepared for death. To me Socrates does not have a realistic view of death,
meaning that most people cannot and will not face death the way he did.
Instead they will go towards death like Sadako did, still trying to live.
7) What was your personal reaction to this experience? Would you enjoy
attending this type of event again? Why or why not? {Minimum 100 words}
Looking at things inside glass boxes does not sound like the most appealing
activity but that being said, I enjoyed this experience more than I thought I
would. My experiences with museums extends only to dinosaur museums and
because of the lack of dinosaurs in art museums, I was prepared to be bored
and have to struggle through the assignment. Fortunately I was pleasantly
surprised to find myself actually learning and enjoying looking at historical and
meaningful things. The Loving Devotion: Visions of Vishnu exhibit really made it
a worthwhile experience. This exhibit is what really peaked my interest, maybe
because of the subject of Vishnu or the exhibits more interactive aspect, but I
really feel like I have a better understanding of Hinduism because of the exhibit.
Seeing how I learned and enjoyed my experience at the BYU Museum of Art I
would be willing to do this kind of event again. I walked away feeling somewhat
accomplished and even a little bit more cultured.
Remember that I want to see reflective thinking on your part. Show me
you are aware of your limitations, your biases, etc. Show me that you
are thinking about your own responses and why you respond the way
you do.