The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. Located in Atlanta 's Midtown arts and business district, the High has over 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection.
Hattie High's House The High's first permanent home came in 1926 with the donation by Mrs. Joseph M. High of her family's residence on Peachtree Street. In 1955, the Museum moved to a new brick structure adjacent to the old High house. After 122 Georgia art patrons died in a plane crash on a Museum-sponsored European tour in 1962, the Atlanta Arts Alliance was founded in their memory, and the Atlanta Memorial Arts Center opened in 1968, constructed around the existing Museum. In 1979, Coca-Cola magnate Robert W. Woodruff offered a $7.5 million challenge grant to build a new facility; Museum officials matched and exceeded the grant, generating a total of $20 million. Atlanta 's children broke ground for the new facility in 1981 and the building opened two years later.
In 1983, the Museum's Richard Meier-designed building opened to worldwide acclaim and has received many design awards, including a 1991 citation from the American Institute of Architects as one of the “ten best works of American architecture of the 1980s.” Meier's 135,000-square-foot facility tripled the Museum's space, enabling the institution to mount more comprehensive displays of its collections. In 2003, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Richard Meier-designed building, the High unveiled enhancements to its galleries and interior, and a new, chronological installation of its permanent collection.
Due to the unprecedented growth the High has experienced during the past decade in exhibitions, community programming, and collection building, the Museum initiated a building expansion program. The High Museum of Art opened its expanded facilities to the public in November 2005, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta.
Three new buildings, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, more than double the Museum's size to 312,000 square feet. This allows the High to display more of its growing collection, increase educational and exhibition programs, and offer new visitor amenities to address the needs of larger and more diverse audiences. The expansion will strengthen the High's role as the premier art museum in the Southeast and allow the Museum to better serve its growing audiences in Atlanta and from around the world.
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