Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of observing and accepting the exact moment in which you find yourself. You are noticing and accepting thoughts and feelings as they arise in your mind and body without judgement.

During your visit, we recommend selecting one or two artworks to explore.  Each mindfulness exercise will take about five minutes. If you are in the gallery with the artwork, spend time examining the artwork from all angles; observe your surroundings, including other pieces of art in the gallery space. Experience your chosen artwork from below, from far away, or from the side! How does your perspective change? What new things did you see? For visitors at home, take time to zoom in on the images of the artwork as you listen to the recording. Explore the intricacies of the artwork and look for details you wouldn’t have seen upon first glance!


American Harvesting

This beautiful painting of a rural American landscape was painted by artist Jasper Francis Cropsey. The way in which he depicts the rich farmland and distant mountains represents an iconic rural American landscape. Upon closer inspection, we see many things happening in this artwork, including working farmers, animals, and a distant lake. The setting is peaceful and allows the viewer to imagine the sounds and smells of rural life. 

Artist(s):

Jasper Francis Cropsey (American, 1823–1900)

Title:

American Harvesting

Date:

1851

Medium(s):

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

35 1/2 × 52 3/4 in.

Accession Number:

69.93

Credit Line:

Gift of Mrs. Nicholas H. Noyes, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Location:

Jane Fortune Gallery, European and American Art, Medieval to 1900, 1st Floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 1st floor gallery (Jane Fortune Gallery: European and American art, Medieval-1900), turn to your right, and then turn right again. Follow this walkway as it wraps around the angular gallery--this painting is located rather far from the door. As you near the second window (at the end of a long, straight stretch), look on the wall to your right for the Cropsey painting.


Forest Stream

This beautifully crafted painting by German artist, August Macke, depicts a forest stream near the Tegernsee, a lake in Bavaria. The style of this artwork is reflective of the artists interests in both French Fauvism (an artistic movement that experimented with abstraction) and the natural world. The artist uses a variety of brush strokes to create movement and texture. Bright colors add to the depth and intensity of this landscape, allowing the viewer to imagine themselves standing in nature and observing this scene.  Consider how this painting also explores how a viewer might feel if standing by this stream. 

Artist(s):

August Macke (German, 1887–1914)

Title:

Forest Stream

Date:

1910

Medium(s):

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

24 1/4 x 24 1/8 in.

Accession Number:

78.67

Credit Line:

Partial Gift of the Robert Gore Rifkind Collection, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Location:

Eskenazi Gallery, European and American Art, Modern and Contemporary, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 1st Floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 1st floor gallery (Eskenazi Gallery, European and American Art, Modern and Contemporary) walk straight ahead. The painting will be on the wall to your right, about halfway down the gallery.


Swing Landscape

American artist Stuart Davis calls attention to bold colors and forms while depicting a landscape of the Gloucester, Massachusetts waterfront in an abstract manner. The artwork is influenced by jazz and swing music, made visible through the use of color and space. The dynamic visual movement in this artwork carries your eye to each element, bringing excitement to the viewer with each new interaction. Take a moment to deeply examine this artwork and all of its various elements as you experience this mindfulness activity! 

Artist(s):

Stuart Davis (American, 1892–1964)

Title:

Swing Landscape

Date:

1938

Medium(s):

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

86 3/4 × 173 1/8 in.

Accession Number:

42.1

Credit Line:

Allocated by the U.S. Government, Commissioned through the New Deal Art Projects, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Location:

Eskenazi Gallery, European and American Art, Modern and Contemporary, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 1st floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 1st floor gallery (Eskenazi Gallery, European and American art, Modern and Contemporary, Henry Radford Hope Wing) walk straight ahead to the back wall and make a left. The painting will be on the farthest wall directly in front of you.


Ritual Food Vessel (Liding)

This bronze cast vessel is a beautiful example of Chinese art.  It was probably used as a burial offering and may have contained food. Intricate animal forms and spirals cover the surface of this vessel. Can you look closely and consider why these images may have been used?

Title:

Ritual Food Vessel (Liding)

Date:

1300–1045 BCE

Culture(s):

Chinese

Medium(s):

Bronze

Dimensions:

Overall: 8 1/8 × 7 1/16 in.

Accession Number:

58.41

Credit Line:

William Lowe Bryan Memorial, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Location:

Ancient, Asian, and Islamic Art Gallery, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 2nd floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 2nd floor gallery (Ancient, Asian, and Islamic Art) walk forward and take the second right. Just past the lefthand wall will be a central display case. The vessel will be in a case with 4 other bronze Chinese objects.


Grave Marker of a Child with Dog

These stone markers are made in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all four were made as part of Greek funerary practice. In fifth- to fourth-century Athens, these markers served as memorials in family plots that were situated along the roads outside of the city. The images carved in relief are idealized images of the deceased man or woman with their families. In spite of the standardization of image types, there is still a poignancy that connects viewers to the lives of individuals, and, especially, to those of children.

Cautionary note: The following mindfulness meditation discusses death, grief, and loss. If this feels too overwhelming for you to explore right now, you can listen to another mindfulness meditation with a different work of art here.

Title:

Grave Marker of a Child with Dog

Date:

375–325 BCE

Culture(s):

Greek

Medium(s):

Marble

Dimensions:

11 3/16 × 11 3/16 × 1 15/16 in.

Accession Number:

78.55

Credit Line:

Gift of Helena Simkhovitch in memory of her father

Location:

Ancient, Asian, and Islamic Gallery, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 2nd floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 2nd floor gallery (Ancient, Asian, and Islamic Art) walk forward, curving to the left until you see the far back wall of the gallery.


Mask in the Form of a Hippopotamus Head (Otobo)

This intricately carved hippopotamus mask was made by an artist in West Africa. The mask was worn during performances atop the head and decorated with feathers, fiber, leaves, and cloth. Imagine how daunting and aggressive this mask would seem as the masquerader forcefully moved through the audience, imitating the fierceness of the hippopotamus. Think about how the added elements of feathers and fabric would have made this mask larger than life and added to the powerful presence of the performer.

Title:

Mask in the Form of a Hippopotamus Head (Otobo)

Date:

ca. 1916

Culture(s):

Ijo, Kalabari (subgroup of the Ijo)

Medium(s):

Wood, incrustation, pigment, and metal

Dimensions:

19 × 9 3/8 × 4 3/4 in.

Accession Number:

96.49

Credit Line:

Gift of Raymond and Laura Wielgus in honor of Rudy Professor Emeritus Roy Sieber, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University

Location:

Wielgus Gallery, Art of Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Art of the Americas, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 3rd Floor

Gallery Directions

After you enter the 3rd floor gallery (Wielgus Gallery, Art of Africa, Oceania, and Indigenous Art of the Americas, Henry Radford Hope Wing, 3rd floor) walk forward towards the back wall. At the back wall, turn right towards the corner of the gallery. The mask will be on the back wall to your left.


Arts-based Wellness at the Museum

Lauren Daugherty is an art therapist at the Eskenazi Museum of Art and she loves her job! She is passionate about helping museum visitors connect with artwork on a personal level and believes that discovering and reflecting upon the things we enjoy, dislike, or otherwise connect with in works of art can lead us toward personal growth.

At the Eskenazi Museum of art, we believe that participating in mindfulness through looking at works of art allows us to become more open to new perspectives and helps us to engage and connect with our own inner worlds. We hope that through this experience, you will gain the confidence to become more comfortable learning about a new artwork and learn to grow and reflect on your personal response to this activity and the world around you.


Credits

This pathway was developed by the Education Department at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art. Special thanks to Frank Diaz, Indiana University Associate Professor of Music, for the creation of the mindfulness audio scripts, and to Erik Dickson, Indiana University alumnus and Truman State University Assistant Professor of Music, for the recording of the mindfulness audio tracks.