The Lowe Art Museum

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The Lowe Art Museum is located right off of the main entrance to the University of Miami on Stanford Drive. The museum had several visitors walking throughout on the day I visited, but as one gets away from the main lobby, the building becomes almost silent. The only conversation heard are whispers and the movement of the security guard through the rooms about every two minutes. The absence of sound allows one to fully take in the beauty of the artwork. Walking around the different galleries, I came upon the “Sheldon and Myrna Palley Gallery” which is host to European art. Unlike the other rooms which are just separated by an entrance through the wall, this gallery is enclosed by glass doors, and has a different feel then the rest of the Lowe Art Museum. The rooms is relatively dark as the small lights on the ceiling are pointing only on the walls at the paintings. The walls are painted a dark magenta color adding to the lack of light in the room. Immediately after entering this gallery though, a distinct scent hit me. The smell is hard to describe, but it is one of old wood and dust, possibly from the frames and paintings that date back to the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries.
When entering the room, one cannot help but feel pulled into each and every painting. The realization that the artwork hanging on the walls was created hundreds of years ago, and still exists in pristine order, to me makes these pieces of art, relics. Gazing around the still and almost silent gallery, I could not help but think that each of these paintings are windows into the past. In his essay Ways of Seeing, John Berger states that “An image became a record of how X had seen Y” (136). At the time the paintings in this gallery were painte...

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...on their market value, has become the substitute for what paintings lost when the camera made them reproducible” (146). Confirming Berger’s argument, when I viewed this piece of art, I was amazed by it. It invited me in and I spent a long period of time looking at, and looking into it. Although the environment of the museum added to my experience of viewing the artwork, if the original painting had looked as vibrant and colorful as the reproduction, the painting would have been even more intriguing. If I had seen the reproduction first, I know that I would not have been pulled into this piece of art.
Art is to be valued, treasured, and respected. Artwork speaks to everyone in a different way, and when asked the right questions, can give great answers. In an age where cameras and pictures are most dominant, original pieces of art are to be cherished and appreciated.
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