Essay Example on the Humanities: My Online Museum Visit

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1187 Words
Date:  2023-02-12


Humanities are an important part of our society as it encourages us to think creatively and outside the box. Despite the effectiveness of classwork, it is important to experience humanities outside the classroom to have more exposure to the topics taught. As such, I visited an online museum to look at and review different pieces of art and try to relate them to my classroom experience. The reason I chose to visit an online museum is the lack of complicated time schedules and the gate costs that are common with physical museums. Furthermore, an online museum has a wide variety of art that one can scroll through easily and quickly. One drawback, however, is that I will not be able to interact with the art physically but rather through a screen that might take away some aspects of the artwork. The museum that I chose to visit is Guggenhem online museum located at museum has several exhibitions like Implicit tensions: Mapplethorpe now which is mainly about the works of Robert Mapplethorpe and Thannhauser Collection which covers the works done in the impressionist and post-impressionist art era. In this paper I will review three of the artworks that I found most fascinating in this online museum and expound on them further.

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This artwork was painted by the renowned French artist Marc Chagall who was born in Vitebsk, Russia in 1887 and died in 1985 in France. This painting was done between the years 1911 and 1912. The painting is done using oil on canvas which goes a long way in bringing out the vivid colors in the artwork. The style that the artist uses is cubism which was an art movement that gained traction in France in 1907. The art created using this style was characterized by the use of geometric planes and shapes to create outlines of what the artist wanted to paint. The artwork is 63.3 cm in height and 48.3 cm in width.

In this painting, there is a soldier in a bar of some sort. He is waiting for his cup to be filled with alcohol. His hat is above his head floating in midair. His right hand is on the side of his head, showing us that he is in deep thought about something. In the background through the window is a wooden house. In the foreground there is a man and woman dancing. The dancing pair are very small as compared to the soldier, and they are dancing on the table. On the left side of the soldier's jacket is a strange curved object (Chagall, 1911).

The artwork is a reflection of the struggle between the inward reflection of individuals and the outside interaction. The cap that is hovering above the head of the soldier is an attempt by the artist to let the thought and inner feelings of the soldier to be free and reveal themselves to everyone to see. The fragmented and distorted body of the soldier is a depiction of the violent occupation of the soldier that not only ruins him but also those around him. The artist portrays the soldier as one wishing to have a different life but has to face a different reality of chaos and wars.


This is a chromogenic print by one of the most renowned Nigerian photographers of the twentieth century, Rotimi Fani-Kayode. Rotimi was born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1955 and died in London in 1989. His works came to the limelight especially at the height of the AIDS epidemic in Nigeria where he produced images and photographs exalting pure black desire that brought attention to the epidemic ravaging his country. He combined aspects of African and European art in his works to bring out the difference between the two cultures.

Adebiyi is an artwork with a young man in the foreground. On his head is a sought of a crown made from plants. The crown has red berries that are probably coffee berries and a wheat plant. These plants cover his head completely and a huge part of his forehead. In his hands is a mask that has been raised to his left chest in the same way a violin is raised while playing. The mask has three predominant colors, black, white and red. The forehead and nose of the mask have stripes of the three colors. The young man is well built with contours of muscles showing in his right arm and his abdomen. Majority of the background is dark, but the light is coming from the left part of the artwork as the background on the left side is lighter than the rest of the background (Adebiyi, 1989).

In this artwork, Rotimi was trying to introduce the world to the culture and lives of his local Yoruba community. The plants that form the crown on the head of the man show that the Yoruba people pride themselves and rely exclusively on the agricultural productivity of their lands. The muscles and physicality of the man show that the Yoruba people are strong and are not afraid of working hard. The mask that is being held close to the heart shows the tradition of the people as in most of the traditional function's masks like the one in the artwork are worn. The dark background is the artist showing that there are some societal evils in the culture but, as shown by the light, these negative parts of the culture are slowly but steadily changing.


This is a piece done by the South African photographer and filmmaker Zanele Muholi. He was born in 1972 and is a South African artist whose works focus on issues of race gender and sexuality. He mainly focuses on looking at black lesbian, gay transgender and intersex people in the South African community. Because of his works and fight for equality of the transgender people, he was nominated for the Deutsche Borse Photography Prize in 2015.

The painting is in a black and white color scheme. In the artwork, there is a black woman with pearl white eyes that are contrasted to the black part of the artwork. The woman has beads on her neck that are characteristic of many of the African communities. On her head, she has ropes which have been covered by fathers. On her chest and abdomen, she has peacock feathers that are circular. The background of the artwork is pitch black. The peacock feathers show the LGBTQ colors. However, the colors are not there and have been replaced by two primary colors, black and white. This shows the way that the society is trying to conform people of the LGBTQ community to two primary genders. The ropes in her head are a depiction of the way that her thoughts are being trapped (Ngwane I, Oslo, 2018).


Adebiyi. (1989). [Chromogenic print] Guggenhem online museu. Retrieved from,

Chagall, M. (1911). The Soldier Drinks ( Le soldat boit ). [Oil on Canvas] Guggenhem online museum. Retrieved from,

Ngwane I, Oslo. (2018). [Gelatin silver print] Guggenhem online museum, Retrieved from, HYPERLINK ""

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