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News Room

High Museum of Art Spotlights More Than 250 Permanent Collection Works Online With Google Cultural Institute

January 21, 2016

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ATLANTA, Jan. 21, 2016 – Starting today, more than 250 works of art in the High Museum of Art’s permanent collection may be viewed online by people around the world through the museum’s new partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.

The Google Cultural Institute is an online platform for virtual exhibitions and high-res photography of objects from museums worldwide. Visitors to www.google.com/culturalinstitute/collection/high-museum-of-art will be able to view detailed images of the High’s featured works of art, which span all of the museum’s curatorial departments and include an ultra-high resolution image of a masterpiece by Claude Monet. The High is also presenting three digital exhibitions on the platform featuring key works from the High’s collection of civil rights–era photography, contemporary furniture highlights and drawings by self-taught Southern artist Bill Traylor. Later this year, the site will be updated with the Street View feature, which offers a virtual tour of the High.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Google Cultural Institute to provide this innovative, in-depth access to the High,” said Julia Forbes, Shannon Landing Amos head of museum interpretation and digital engagement. “This platform brings our museum to life in the digital space, offering visitors an opportunity to connect with our works of art and world-class architecture, even if they haven’t been able to visit us yet in person.”

Get up close with ultra-high-resolution images
Claude Monet’s “Autumn on the Seine, Argenteuil” (1873), which entered the High’s collection in 2000, may now be viewed in never-before-seen definition thanks to Gigapixel technology, a powerful photo-capturing process that has enabled the highest-ever resolution image of this work of art. Viewers can explore the painting in extraordinary detail and experience it far beyond what is visible to the naked eye. For example, the zoom technology allows users to see the weave of the canvas underneath Monet’s individual brushstrokes.

Digital exhibitions
Three virtual exhibitions, curated by the High’s interpretation staff, have been developed for online visitors. These exhibitions include:

  • Civil Rights Photography – The High holds one of the most significant collections of photographs of the civil rights movement. The 20 works in this exhibition by celebrated photographers including Leonard Freed and Gordon Parks are only a small selection of the collection, which includes more than 300 photographs. These works document historic moments, from Rosa Parks’s arrest to the Freedom Rides to the tumultuous demonstrations of the late 1960s. The city of Atlanta—birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—was a hub of civil rights activism and figures prominently in the selected photographs. Visionary leaders such as Dr. King, Congressman John Lewis, and Ambassador Andrew Young are featured alongside countless unsung heroes. The photographs in this collection capture the courage and perseverance of individuals who challenged the status quo, armed only with the philosophy of nonviolence and the strength of their convictions.
  • Contemporary Furniture Design – This group of contemporary furniture represents both the ideas of the moment—innovative materials, technology, and manufacturing processes—and remnants of the past—traditional forms, processes and natural materials. The High’s renowned contemporary design collection reflects the international nature of the field and features works ranging from high-tech, computer-generated pieces to lyrical designs handcrafted in traditional media. The works exhibited highlight the talents of some of the most important and compelling designers working today, such as Joris Laarman, Jaime Hayon and nendo, and show the incredible breadth and range of their intellect and creative prowess.
  • The Drawings of Bill Traylor –Traylor (1854?–1949) was born into slavery on a plantation in Dallas County, Ala. After emancipation, he lived in Montgomery, Ala., where he worked as a laborer until he was physically unable to continue. Under the challenging conditions of the Depression era, Traylor survived on the streets in the then primarily black enclave of Monroe Avenue (now called Monroe Street). He spent his days sitting on the sidewalks, creating the more than 1,200 drawings he is believed to have produced. Using modest materials, Traylor created a visual autobiography in which he recorded events from his past as well as his observations of life in the Monroe Avenue area. Traylor offered his drawings for sale to passersby, but he sold or gave most of his work to Charles Shannon, a local artist who befriended him, for modest sums or in exchange for art supplies. Preserved by Shannon for approximately 40 years, the drawings were reintroduced to an enthusiastic public in the late 1970s and now rank among the most important examples of self-taught art ever created. This exhibition features more than 25 of Traylor’s drawings from the High’s permanent collection.

Virtual tour with Street View
When this additional feature launches later this year, users will be able to move around the High virtually, viewing the architecture and works of art and clicking to discover more or diving into high-resolution images of select works. A specially designed Street View “trolley” took 360-degree images of selected galleries, which were then stitched together, enabling smooth navigation of seven floors of the museum and spaces such as the High’s stunning Robinson Atrium, the modern and contemporary art galleries in the Wieland Pavilion and the Impressionist painting galleries in the Stent Family Wing.

About the High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 15,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; a substantial collection of historical and contemporary decorative arts and design; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk and self-taught art, and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information about the High, visit high.org.

About The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is one of the largest arts centers in the world, home to the Tony Award–winning Alliance Theatre, the Grammy Award–winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art, the leading art museum in the Southeast. Each year, these centers of artistic excellence play host to more than 1.2 million patrons at The Woodruff Arts Center’s midtown Atlanta location, one of the only arts centers in the United States to host both visual and performing arts on a single campus. The Woodruff Arts Center also offers remarkable educational programming through each of its arts partners. Through the combined efforts of its arts partners, The Woodruff Arts Center serves more than 300,000 students annually and is the largest arts educator in Georgia. www.woodruffcenter.org

About Google Cultural Institute
The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1,000 institutions giving a platform to more than 200,000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. Read more here.

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DIGITAL IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Media contact:

Marci Tate
Manager of Public Relations
High Museum of Art
Tel: 404-733-4585
E-mail: marci.tate@woodruffcenter.org