Art Unveiled: A Journey through Cultures at the Fowler Museum - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-20
Art Unveiled: A Journey through Cultures at the Fowler Museum - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Art
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1467 words
13 min read


The Fowler Museum is located at the heart of Los Angeles. It is the one-stop place for anyone who wishes to understand more about different cultures. Artists display their artwork to tell stories from Asia, Africa, and even native America. If you feel a little nostalgic about the home or just intrigued by different cultures, then the Fowler Museum is the place to visit. You are guaranteed high-quality art that will appeal to your every sense of emotion. Exhibition events are running throughout the year, and therefore you will never miss out on a good experience. In this essay, I will analyze some of the exhibitions I found interesting in my museum tour.

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A Summary of the World

'Make Me a Summary of the World' is an art collection by Rina Banerjee. The exhibition was organized between December 2019 and May 2020. Banerjee's art collection features a set of well-crafted sculptures and phenomenal paintings. She seeks to tell the story of globalization by combining art pieces from different parts of the world. In one of her sculptures, she brings together African jewelry, a Chinese feather, Japanese and Korean fabric, and Italian Murano glass. Her desire to bring together conflicting cultures of the world in her artwork can be traced to the fact that she is an immigrant in the United States trying to assert her Indian descent. She spent her childhood in London before moving to the United States. Banerjee has been lucky to travel to Europe through various expeditions over the last twenty years. However, it's the Fowler exhibition that vividly captures her dedication to the artwork. The Fowler location is proximal to many diasporic people who would most likely relate to Banerjee's work. The paintings displayed in the room are alluring to the eyes due to the exquisite use of bright colors that capture attention.

The exquisite use of color and explicit imagery has sparked a heated debate about Banerjee's work in the past. Many people find it to be inappropriate, especially the sensual description of sexuality. However, by walking down the alley of sculptures and paintings, a keen art enthusiast will appreciate Banerjee's work in her art. The thoughtfulness of incorporating the familiar color of Southern Asia art to articulate the candid nature of controversial topics. The topics of gender, colonialism, and cultural identity are deeply rooted in her art pieces. She also employs the aesthetic Indian language in her captions rather than English, standard among many people. Hers is not just art but a tour of the world by walking on a few isles in the Fowler Museum.

Through Positive Eyes

Through Bright Eyes is a photography collection in the Fowler Museum. The exhibition took place between September 2019 and February 2020. The show featured everyday photography geared toward people living with HIV/AIDs and live storytelling sessions. The stories tell of perseverance, courage, and pain. The climax of the exhibition was a sculpture by artist Alison Saar. The collection was put together to help end the stigma against HV/AIDS victims. The emotional photographs and stories of victims are more than just visual and audio-visual forms of art. They send a message that fighting against stigmatization is the only way to win the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The exhibition was also activism against the segregation of people who have HIV/AIDS. It helps reiterate the conviction that there is hope for an HIV/AIDS-free world if tolerance is adopted.

Many of the storytellers featured in the exhibition concede that they had lost hope of living into adulthood when they were first diagnosed with AIDS. However, by accepting themselves and finding reasons to be happy, they lived more satisfying lives. They believe that their stories can inspire a positive attitude in other people. It is also the platform to showcase the central place of art in articulating sensitive issues in society. The exhibition was also a place for budding photographers to showcase their skills. The first section of the exhibition features portrait-sized photos of HIV/AIDS survivors. The next aisle is composed of sculptures that tell stories created by Alison Saar. Finally, the exhibition closes with live sessions from HIV/AIDS-positive artists who speak against stigmatization.

Dressed with Distinction

'Dressed with Distinction' is an exhibition that puts together Syria's distinctive fashion in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is put together by the Fowler Museum and designers from the Netherlands. This exhibition is more of a historic trip to the elaborate position that Syria held in the textile industry during the 20th century. The clothes were not just an economic asset but also a way of telling the world about Syria's cultural diversity. Located in the Middle East, Syria is a conservative country in terms of culture and religion. However, the exhibition opens the world to little-known facts about the talented clothes makers hidden in Damascus and Aleppo's hearts. The garments were distinctive in terms of their bright colors and dazzling display of gold.

The outfits were made through hand stitching, embroidery, and dyeing. By looking at the wearer of the establishment, one can immediately identify them as Arab. This is because the decorations held the significance of religious and cultural values. There were different clocks, jackets, and unique silk scarves for women. They were woolen in nature due to the occasional cold experienced in the desert. Their garment would act as an identifier for the different social classes. People from urban areas tended to wear outfits that had unique floral patterns and alluring designs. The traditional forms of dressing are quickly fading away among many Syrian residents. However, the costumes used in the exhibition were donated to the Fowler Museum. Visitors will therefore get a chance to tour the prosperous Syrian fashion industry every time they visit the gallery.


Inheritance is a series of videos put together by African artists who seek to align economic, social, and political practices in the African continent. The exhibition is organized by the Fowler Museum and curated by Erica P. Jones, the African art curator. The artists put into perspective the healing and reconciliation process of Africa after the colonial error. For example, the film titled 'We Live in Silence' by Kudzanai Chiruai shows how the postcolonial practices and mentality have continued to linger on among many Africans. Instead of going against these practices and building a unique society, many Africans perpetuate them. The end of colonialism was a reprieve for Africans. They could now have self-rule and their political structures. Instead of bringing freedom, the postcolonial era brought in more mental slavery worse than the actual colonization. Zina Saro-Wiwa tells the story of postcolonial economic struggles. In her film, 'Table Manners,' Saro-Wiwa tells the tale of affected agriculture in Nigeria. Large oil firms control large tracts of land, affecting agricultural production. The videos feature people taking dinners in rural areas of Nigeria.

Finally, Mikhael Subotzky tells the story of white settlers trying to assert their position post-apartheid. It is an intriguing intersection of the apartheid era and the years that follow trying to say to whites' role in the apartheid challenges. The stories above clearly show that Africa has a long way to assert its place as an independent creator and supporter of its people. The effects of colonialism can be felt long after, and many people find it hard to stick to their cultural practices and ignore the influence of colonialism. However, with more awareness from artists, appropriate procedures and cohesion can be adopted. There are also social and political struggles that many artists choose to ignore or blatantly refuse to engage in. More African artists have embraced the nature of coming out to lend their artistic skills in the quest for a better society. The display of these videos in the Fowler Museum shows that artists are no longer afraid of articulating issues that they find to be unbecoming.

The exhibitions above clearly illustrate that the Fowler Museum is a hub of art. The museum brings the world together through photographs, stories, and videos that tell unique stories. The different forms of art presented also tell historical stories and focus on various issues that eat at our society. They bring encouragement and a desire to see a better community. People get to see art in its natural form, even for issues that are naturally considered taboo. It is a place that attracts many people and crowds through the isles to witness different forms of art. The information is ideal for entertainment enthusiasts, diasporic residents who wish to touch with their aesthetic culture or students who want to get an in-depth glance into history. Physically the museum is large, well-spaced, and with ample space where everybody can get a chance to experience art.

Work Cited

Fowler Museum (2020), Exhibitions Retrieved from

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