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Analysis of The Penny Image of Abraham Lincoln and Mummied Ibis - Assignment Example

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The museums selected for the discussion are: National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the items selected are Fine arts- the portrait of Abraham Lincoln namely-‘The Penny Image of Abraham Lincoln’ by William Willard, and Natural history – ‘Mummied Ibis’.  …
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Analysis of The Penny Image of Abraham Lincoln and Mummied Ibis
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Discuss two items from each museum and respond to the questions Art, the process of creation or the product itself deeply influence one’s sensual perception. Further, it is closely related to a range of activities and branches. To an extent, art is the best mode to express one’s creativity and is one of the best modes which stimulate one’s thoughts and emotions. Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy reflects that: “And therefore to define art it is necessary to define the peculiarity of that activity, both in its origin in the soul of the producer and in the peculiarity of its action on the souls of the recipients.” (Tolstoy 51) the peculiarity of art is that it is originated in the mind of the artist and is directly transferred to the mind of the recipients. So, it can be seen that this communication is a complex process, through the medium of the artwork itself. Earlier, the term art was used to refer to any sort of skill or mastery. But the Romantic spirit which transformed the scenario of art helped it to relate itself to any object, concrete or abstract, capable to stimulate thoughts and emotions. The power of Art to attract human minds is irrevocably proven and it is clear that the discussion of art pieces from different museums will shed much light to the foretold subject.
The portrait is based on a photograph of Lincoln, captured by Anthony Berger at a famous studio, namely Mathew Brady’s studio, Washington D.C., in 1864. At the same time, the second object selected for discussion, i.e. ‘Mummied Ibis’ symbolize the cultural aspects of ancient Egypt. The process of mummifying or embalming was a complex process related to the belief of ancient Egyptians in life after death. Barry J. Kemp reflects that: “The nature of the ancient Egyptian state and its wealth of devices-myth, symbol and institution to manipulate minds and to direct the lives of its people” (Kemp 2) the ancient Egyptian civilization was based on myths, symbols and authoritarian institution which deeply influenced the lives of the people. The object selected for discussion related to fine art can be termed as an artwork because it is the portrait of the former American president, Abraham Lincoln. Also, the work related to natural history can be termed as a concrete form of artwork because it represents the ancient form of embalming.
When one search for evidence related to the cultural aspects, relation with a belief system or religious concept, it is apparent that the ‘Mummied Ibis’ is closely related to the same. For instance, the object reveals the cultural aspects, belief system and the religious system of ancient Egypt. But the artwork- ‘The Penny Image of Abraham Lincoln’ is related to the cultural aspects of modern America which shows keen interest to incorporate multi-cultural and multi-lingual aspects to the American society.
By summing up, it is evident that the objects selected for discussion clearly represent the significance of art as a medium of expression and appreciation. Besides, the discussion related to the work of art selected makes clear that the ‘Mummied Ibis’ clearly represent the cultural aspects, belief system and religious system of Ancient Egypt. At the same time, the other work ‘The Penny Image of Abraham Lincoln’ represents the cultural aspects of the United States as a whole. Also, the process of incorporating different medium to the scenario of art does not make any change to the ultimate aim of art, i.e. self-expression and appreciation.   Read More
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