With a collection of more than 19,000 works, the High is dedicated to engaging visitors with art, artists, and the creative process, reflecting the rich diversity of communities within Atlanta and around the world.
The High Museum of Art’s African Art collection prominently features the art and material culture of West and Central African makers, reflecting the cultural, social, and visual histories of these regions from antiquity to modern day.
The High’s historical American Art collection includes over 1,200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints made by artists working within the United States between 1780 and 1980. With strengths in historical painting and sculpture, the collection demonstrates the evolution of a distinctly American point of view in artistic representation.
Decorative Arts and Design
The High’s Decorative Arts and Design collection explores the broad materializations of design across time and place.
The High’s European Art collection comprises more than a thousand paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, spanning six centuries of artistic endeavor, from the 1300s through the 1900s.
Folk and Self-Taught Art
Not all great artists attended art schools. The artists featured in the High Museum’s Folk and Self-Taught Art collection instead were shaped primarily by lessons learned from family, community, work, and spiritual experiences. Some painted on canvas, while others depended on more readily available materials: stone from local quarries, decommissioned doors, scrapyard metal, and even bubble gum.
Modern and Contemporary Art
The Modern and Contemporary Art collection encompasses art from 1945 to the present in all media and from diverse geographic locations and cultures. It provides a broad overview of the art of our time with outstanding examples of work by definitive artists who emerged in the postwar era; midcareer artists who have expanded and challenged the canon since the early 2000s; and emerging artists whose influential work suggests new directions for the future.
The High Museum of Art began collecting photographs in the early 1970s, making it among the earliest museums to commit to the medium. With more than 8,500 prints, the Photography department comprises the Museum’s largest collection. It is particularly strong in American modernist and documentary traditions from the mid-twentieth century and in contemporary trends.