High Museum of Art | Atlanta, GA
The High Museum of Art (also known as The High) is a museum of fine art and applied arts located about two miles from downtown Atlanta, Georgia.
The museum, that is part of the Woodruff Arts Center, was founded in 1905 and, since 1983, is housed in a famous building designed by American architect Richard Meier.
In 2005, the museum has been expanded substantially after a design by Italian architect Renzo Piano.
Richard Meier’s building
For the High museum, Meier conceived a “total white” 135,000-square-foot building whose architectural structure is composed of four quadrants, one of which has been removed and replaced by a large curved atrium.
A long straight ramp connects, both functionally and symbolically, the museum’s entrance with the adjacent public realm, and the city.
Openly inspired by F.L. Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York, the atrium is an imposing daylight-filled space from which a large spiral ramp gives access to the museum’s art galleries, located on three levels.
Renzo Piano’s expansion
Completed in 2005, the High Museum of Art 177-square-foot expansion designed by Renzo Piano more than doubled the museum’s surface area. Located south and west of Meier’s building, the extension comprises three buildings clad in white aluminum panels – the large Wieland Pavilion, the Anne Cox Chambers Wing special collections pavilion, and an administrative building – flanking a plaza in a campus-like configuration.
The flat roofs of the two pavilions feature a special roof system composed of 1,000 circular light scoops that capture northern light and convey it into the galleries to provide natural lighting for the artworks on show there.
The High Museum’s collections, comprising over 14,000 pieces, feature American decorative arts from the 17th century to the present day, European art from Renaissance to Impressionism, American 19th and 20th-century art, folk art, African art, photography, and American and international modern and contemporary art.
A large selection of works by prominent artists – from Tiepolo to Monet, from John Singer Sargent to Ellsworth Kelly – is presented in the museum’s permanent exhibitions.
Masterpieces of view include paintings by Guercino, Luca Signorelli, Giovanni Bellini, Edgar Degas, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Ellsworth Kelly. Gerhard Richter, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko: sculptures by Tilman Riemenschneider, and Auguste Rodin; engravings by Albrecht Dürer, and 20th and 21st-century iconic objects of design by Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Ray Eames, Ron Arad, Ettore Sottsass, Philippe Starck, Zaha Hadid, and Nendo. among others.
The High museum’s program of events and activities includes temporary exhibitions, special events, lectures, family programs, guided tours, and educational activities for children, adults, and teachers.
The High complex includes two cafes, a restaurant, and a book & gift shop; the museum is fully accessible to people with disabilities; wheelchairs are available free of charge.
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Richard Meier’s building; photo © Scott Frances
Meier’s building, axonometric view, ground floor plan, and east elevation drawing; images © Richard Meier & Partners Architects
Meier’s building, exterior, and interior views; photos © Scott Frances
Meier’s building, view of the atrium; photo: James Emery
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, a site plan with the building by Meier on the left, the Woodruff Arts Center main building on the right, and the Renzo Piano expansion at the bottom (in yellow); image courtesy RPBW
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Renzo Piano expansion; exterior and interior photos by Michel Denancé, longitudinal section, and detail of the roof system courtesy of RPBW
Renzo Piano expansion, close-up view of the light scoops; photo: Joevare
Cover photo by Aka Hige
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copyright Inexhibit 2021 - ISSN: 2283-5474