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Module 04 Discussion – Response to Virtual Museum Tour with replies

For this discussion, visit the Smithsonian Explore Art & Design

Answer the following questions related to this Module’s virtual museum tour assignment. State which virtual tour you engaged in and respond to the following:

  • Name two works of art viewed in your virtual tour and explain what subjects, themes, and stylistic characteristics enhanced your appreciation of art. (You can choose whatever two art projects you like)
  • Describe the level of enjoyment the experience afforded. Share one or two details about your emotional response.

Then respond to these student replies with at least two hundred words and one source

First reply:

Kailee Gordon

Module 1 Virtual Museum Tour

The artworks I chose for my discussion post are “Among the Sierra Nevada, California” By Albert Bierstadt, and “California Spring Landscape” By Elmer Wachtel.

The artworks are similar in their focus on the peaceful true beauty of nature. “Among the Sierra Nevada, California” combines waterfalls, trees, mountains, wildlife (deer), and landscape to create a beautiful realistic breathtaking theme. The oil on canvas medium and the artist’s use of realistic details enhanced the painting making me feel like I was standing in the mountain scene. I was immediately drawn to this painting. The most prominent theme is realistic/ representational.

My second artwork is “California Spring Landscape” by Elmer Wachtel. The calm, peaceful setting drew me in and I wanted to rest in the flower field with my morning cup of coffee. The use of the watercolor medium is one of my favorites I have personally used as the way it blends colors bring art to life. Mr. Wachtel’s focus on the wildflower and daisy field combined with the trees, landscape, and dirt roads showcase the absolute beauty of nature.

Each painting is breathtaking and beautiful in their own way. I enjoyed the focus on the simple beauty of nature that provided a peaceful, calming feel with no uncertainty or chaos. These paintings reminded me of growing up in Colorado, camping in the mountains, and hiking to see the waterfalls and wildflower fields making me feel I was home again. My family enjoyed our time spent in the calm, relaxing beauty of nature.

Second reply:

Michael Barringer


After looking at all the art works, the first one that really grabbed my attention was the piece The South Ledges, Appledore. I loved how the artist used different levels of blues and whites and greens to give the illusion of waves rolling in and smashing against the rocks. To me I like how the artist portrayed the level at which the rock ledge closest to the ocean is darker from the rock ledge above, giving it a wet look from the ocean water splashing upon the rock. To me the woman sitting on the ledge is relaxing and enjoying the sounds of the ocean crashing against the rock, and enjoying the fresh sea breeze.

The second piece of art that really took me back to my child hood memory of my grandfathers cabin in the woods in Michigan was Up the Hudson. This piece has fascinating levels of perception. I liked how the artist blurred finer details on the cabins further away then the closer ones. I like how it is portrayed that the sun is above and casting the shadows of the trees down on the land, and how the shadows behind the structures really gives this picture a 3D sense of perception. I like how the snow in front of the house is matted down and tracks of some sort are imprinted to give an illusion of some sort of disturbance from travel.

I really enjoyed both pieces. The South Ledges picture takes me back to when I was a kid growing up in Michigan and going up to St Claire river walking along the edges of the river stepping on the huge pieces of rock watching and listening to the water roll in and smash up against the rocks. After going back in memory, I still can smell the aroma of the lake. And the picture of the house reminds me of my grandfathers cabin in Farwell, Michigan. It was from what I can remember a small cabin standing in front of the woods along with a few more spread out very far from each other.

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