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The Role of Art in Describing Culture
The arts museum in St. Petersburg, Florida contains a lot of art that can tell about culture. Different communities used different ways of expressing themselves. For this reason, one can learn quite a number of things about culture using fine arts. The art displayed in a museum tells quite a number of things regarding cultures (Lesko, 45). St. Petersburg Museum of fine arts is one museum that contains ancient art collections from different cultures. This museum contains pieces of art of Asian origin and the art collected during the pre-colonial period. Below is a vivid description of some of the cultural activities learnt from art displays in the museum.
To begin with, the arts found in some galleries in the museum help the observer to realize the presentation of cultures such as religion. The non-western communities such as Asians, the native north and southern America were religious. This is confirmed by the presence of the places of worship that are found on the art. This culture is also displayed by the worship activities that the people in the piece of art are carrying out. In some art pieces, there is the presentation of mosques with Muslims worshipping (Lesko, 34). This art shows the observer that the religious culture of the group of people in the Muslim religion.
The religious beliefs of different communities are illustrated in different ways, in art. One example is the one mentioned above of the Muslims, whose pieces of art have mosques as observed. The symbols used to represent the gods that are worshipped. Indians, for example, have their arts illustrating Buddhism, Hinduism or Judaism. In art, Buddha can be represented in different ways. Some artists present Buddha in the human form, having very smooth fixtures while the ancient artists present it as either the footprint of Buddha, or the wheel of eight laws. In other Indian arts, there are images of powerful bulls or human beings in yoga positions. Hindus and Judaist have varied symbolic representation of their supreme god. This is because they have many gods. The arts of these two religions are represented by showing the body in a way that illustrates detachment from the world.
Indians are also known to be ornamental. This is observed in most of their paintings and photographs found in St. Petersburg museum of fine art. Their sense of beauty is represented by their opulent figures, many ornaments, intense colors, and distinct textures.
The form of leadership practiced by ancient people of the Asian communities is also displayed in the arts found at St. Petersburg. There are drawings that contain the kingdoms and king’s palaces. For instance in some of the pieces of art show the form of leadership of the Asians (Shirane, 23). Indians who adapted the Muslim culture adapted the traditions of the Muslim art. For instance, they started making drawings of nobles, kings and wealthy traders. Their arts showed their appreciation for the achievements made by kings and stories from the Quran. The paintings also became clear and were colored brightly.
Ancient artwork from the Asians is made of small portable art pieces like jewellery, rugs, pottery. This is because Asia was occupied by many nomadic pastoralists. Drawings and photographs representing Asia have vast lands of deserts with animals such as camels. Most Asians who lived in desert areas were domestic pastoralist. This is observed in art by the large groups of Asians migrating with their livestock and property on the backs of camels (Shirane, 30). Some arts present them when they are settled in the desert near the oasis, with housing structures that are not permanent.
Asians were also traders. This is observed from the drawings containing Asians exchanging goods for money. Some photographs also show the trading centers of the Asians and trading activities taking place.
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