The High Museum of Art is located in Atlanta Georgia on Peachtree Street in Midtown. It’s a leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. In 2010 it had 109,000 visitors which made it 95th among world art museums.
This museum was originally called the Atlanta Art Association and was founded in 1905. In 1926, the High family donated their home on Peachtree Street to house exhibitions from Atlanta collector J.J. Haverty. Many of those pieces are still there now. The museum is a separate building for the actual museum.
In 1962, the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center was built for the High. It was built in memory of 130 people that were killed in an airplane crash on June 3, 1962. Those killed were Atlanta arts patrons who were on their way back from their trip. Whistler’s Mother at the Louvre was also given to the High in honor of those killed in the crash.
In 1983 a 135,000 square foot building opened to house the High Museum of Art. Richard Meier was the designer and he won the 1984 Pritzker Prize after the building’s completion. People aren’t entirely sure what to think of this building because while it’s highly attractive and beautifully made, it’s not as functional as it could be as part of a building that is supposed to display large works of modern art. The lack of exhibition space and the columns throughout the interior, it’s hard to see much of anything that is on display.
The High Museum of Art has a permanent collection of about 15,000 artworks throughout it’s seven collecting areas. Those seven collecting areas are African Art, American Art, decorative art and design, European art, folk and self-taught art, modern and contemporary art, and photography. After the museum announced that it was expanding in 1999 the High obtained more than one-third of it’s collection.
Some of the collection’s artists are Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Claude Monet, Martin Johnson Heade, Dorothea Lange, Clarence John Laughlin, and Chuck Close.
In 1958 the Museum got 29 donations from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. This established most of High’s European collection and include Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child, Tommaso del Mazza’s Madonna and Child with Six Saints and Tiepolo’s Roman Matrons Making Offerings to Juno. The European art collection also includes Late Medieval Italian paintings by Paolo di Giovanni Fei, Niccolo di Segna and Italian Renaissance paintings by Francesco di Giorgio, Girolamo Romani, and Vittore Carpaccio, as well as French paintings by Nicolas Tournier, Charles-Andre’ van Loo, Eugene Fromentin, and many more!
The American art collection includes 18th, 19th, and 20th century American paintings by Ralph Earl, Charles Wilson Peale, John Copley, Benjamin West, Thomas Cole, George Henry Durrie, Jasper Cropsey, John Kensett, Thomas Doughty, John Quidor, George Inness, Albert Bierstadt, and many more.
The High’s modern and contemporary art collection features works by Donald Judd, Alex Katz, Richard Artschwager, Sean Scully, Ellsworth Kelly, Anish Kapoor, and Julie Mehretu.
The High’s photography program is very large as well. It began acquiring photographs in the early 1970s. It was one of the first museums to start collecting photography. Today it is the largest and fastest growing collection in the High Museum of Art.
5 Reasons to Visit The High Museum of Art
- The Museum is one of the nation’s top art museums in the Southeast
- Has 11,000 pieces comprised of all different types of art
- The High Museum of Art welcomes several visiting exhibitions throughout the year so there’s always something new to see.
- On Friday nights you can hear live jazz music over a glass or two of wine and on Thursdays there are lots of family and youth programs.
- The museum has a gift shop where you can buy prints of your favorite Van Gogh pieces, jewelry, posters, and a lot more.
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