The High Museum
As one of the nation’s leading art museums, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art boasts more than 11,000 pieces of classic and contemporary art.
The High Museum, also commonly referred to as simply the High, is a department under the Woodruff Arts Center.
Originally The Atlanta Art Association
Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High Museum of Art began its existence in a family residence on Peachtree Street. The residence was a gift from Mrs. Joseph M. High, which originally served as her family’s home.
The High Museum of Art eventually outgrew its home and moved to a larger, brick structure, not far from the High residence.
In 1979 a $7.5 million grant was offered by Coca-Cola magnate Robert W. Woodruff. The purpose of this grant was to expand the museum to approximately 135,000 feet. After raising another $20 million, the new High Museum of Art opened its doors in 1983.
Architect Richard Meier
Designed by famed architect Richard Meier, the new High Museum of Art won many design awards, including the American Institute of Architects award, which named it as one of the “ten best works of American architecture in the 1980s.”
The building itself is often as stunning as the works inside, with its porcelain-enameled exterior, a four-story, towering atrium and awe-inspiring galleries.
An additional expansion in 2005 doubled the museum to 312,000 square feet. The museum now includes three, additional buildings, all of which were designed by famed Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Just one of Piano’s many design concepts includes a special roof system of 1,000 light scoops which are designed to capture northern light and filter it to the skyway galleries.
11,000 Pieces of Art
Inside, over 11,000 pieces of art are displayed in galleries, which range from 18th and 19th century collections to cutting-edge contemporary art. Other collections featured include African art, decorative art, African American art, photography and works on paper.
Some of the museum’s permanent collections include works by by Claude Monet, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, Dorothea Lange, Martin Johnson Heade, Clarence John Laughlin, and Chuck Close.
The museum also features many works by artists from the South in an attempt to support local artists.
A curatorial department is devoted to self-taught art, while the museum’s media arts department produces an annual film series of foreign, independent and classic films.