Trip to the Ackland Museum and Adaptaion

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the Ackland Museum of Art and was able to see how mediums, besides novels, can be examples of adaptations and intertextuality. Some of the works that stood out to me in this context, were the depictions of Adam and Eve in The Garden of Eden. Looking at the different aspects of the paintings such as colors, settings, objects and the size of objects, we can gather what the message of the creator was. In the first depiction, there were trees, animals, a woman, a man, and a snake. They were barely clothed and it was easy to recognize the story that the creator was trying to recreate. These items were copied in the second depiction but there were certain nuances that helped to change the story in a drastic way. The main difference was that there was not a man in the second painting. This may change the meaning of the story but the important part is that the story itself is still recognizable. Why the painter did not include a man in the second painting is up to interpretation; some say that it highlights the fall of the woman by only including her in a story that is about the fall of mankind. This is an example of why I believe that artwork, namely paintings in this circumstance, are harder to interpret than novels. The volume of information, in my opinion, is just greater for written works. One explanation as to why I hold this opinion could be a simple fact that I am not trained to evaluate art. I do not have that much experience when it comes to art and therefore I am probably missing key details such as brush strokes, the type of paint used, the timing of the paint, etc.

Since this course is about adaptation, I feel as if I must address the ambiguities that come along with the term. An adaptation is a composition that reframes or modifies another work. The reason that I believe the definition of an adaptation is ambiguous is because it is extremely difficult to create something completely original. In fact, everything has an origin and takes themes from someplace else, even if the author unknowingly did it. Frankenstein in Baghdad would be considered an easy adaptation to identify, but if the title was different, there would be an argument to be made that it’s an original work. The theme of somebody putting body parts together and causing it to come to life is broad enough to not warrant an intellectual patent.