Ackland Art Museum

On November 15th, the English 123 class took a trip to the Ackland Art Museum. Two of the interesting paintings the group looked at were Looking at the Sea painted by Howard Hodgkin and River Landscape with Fishermen painted by Salomon van Ruysdael. The ladies giving the tour of the museum and the art showed these pieces to the class because of the novel read as a class. These two paintings involved shipwrecks and the sea just as the story of Robinson Crusoe included. It was interesting to see these paintings and try to make connections with the interpretive descriptions of Robinson Crusoe.

Looking at the Sea which was painted by Howard Hodgkin, was the most talked about painting within my group of classmates. This piece is considered an abstract painting including the colors blue, some orange, and outlined in red. The interpretation of this art showed how the sea is fun and inviting and blue, but there is a fine line with fear being just across that line. The guide showed how this painting depicted how the sea is big and most of it is unknown. The world is around two-thirds water; therefore, it is a significant part of the planet. Looking at the Sea is a piece of abstract art; the interpretation can vary. Abstract art is open to any interpretation depending on how people look at the art and see it depicted, which is the coolest thing about abstract art. This specific piece of art showed how rough and rigid the sea can be, but also at how calm and soothing it can be. This piece of art is open to many types of interpretations.

The other painting being looked at that I thought was intriguing was River Landscape with Fishermen that was painted by Salomon van Ruysdael. This painting included ships in the calm sea and a skyline of a village or town in the background. The color scheme of this painting is gray and gloomy. In the top corner of the painting was dark, gray clouds and then realized that the painting is the calm before the storm. Something horrible was set to happen just after this moment, but in the one moment of the painting, there is calm and happy. This painting is also up for various interpretations, but since it is not an abstract piece, the room for interpretation is a little slimmer but still open.

The trip to the Ackland Art Museum did two things for me. The first thing was that there are not only adaptations with movies and books, but there are also adaptations in art. This is interesting because when reading a book everyone has their own sense of interpretation and making pictures in their mind. Seeing a piece of art as an adaptation shows how the picture can change due to different interpretations. Secondly, going to the Ackland made me realize how much I have begun to like art. Being in a museum for the first time ever in my life made me realize that I want to start visiting the different museums to see other pieces of art. This trip was rather eye-opening for me as a whole.