Greene Family Learning Gallery
To mark the 50th anniversary of its commitment to family spaces, the High debuted a total redesign of its Greene Family Learning Gallery with new interactive environments.
Located adjacent to the Robinson Atrium in the Stent Family Wing, the Greene Family Learning Gallery has expanded to include a 2,000-square-foot space across the hall from its previous footprint. The High’s Education department worked with Roto design firm to create the Gallery’s two distinct spaces based on a set of goals, which were informed by years of visitor observation, community expert input, and research. Each space offers a welcoming, safe and fun environment that is child-centered and child-directed with age-appropriate activities for kids ranging from babies to 8-year-olds. The open-ended, intuitive, multi-sensory elements, designed to be inclusive for all, combine cutting-edge technology with hands-on activities.
Our goals for the new Greene Family Learning Gallery are to:
- Offer a space for families to make memories while fostering stronger connections between caregivers and children.
- Empower children and their caregivers to explore the Museum and more confidently engage with its collection.
- Inspire wonder and encourage children to be curious about the art they encounter every day.
- Celebrate creativity, imagination, empathy, and play, and help families develop these skills through one-of-a-kind interactive experiences found only at the High.
The previous Greene Family Learning Gallery space became “CREATE,” a bright and open studio devoted to developing young visitors’ art-making abilities and centered on the creative process. The newly created second Gallery space, “EXPERIENCE,” is a deeply immersive gallery that enables visitors to explore what art means, how it feels, and where it can take us. Each Gallery space features a quiet space with activities designed for reflection as well as an area specifically for babies and toddlers.
The new Gallery debuted in October 2018, coinciding with the collection reinstallation reveal.
The Greene Family Learning Gallery is open during regular museum hours and is included in museum admission. In addition to the Gallery, the High offers a wide range of family programming, including Summer Art Camps and the popular Toddler Thursday and Second Sunday events.
- Engage in fun and safe play with your toddlers and babies in our designated toddler areas
- The Greene Family Learning Gallery is not open during evening events like First Fridays or Jazz Fridays
- Quiet play spaces are available for contemplative reflection
- No food or drinks are allowed. If you need to take a snack break, tables and chairs are located in the nearby lobby where food is allowed.
- We invite you to park your strollers in our stroller parking areas so that you can play with your children without constraints
- No running, jumping, or climbing allowed to maintain a calm and safe environment
- On Second Sundays the Greene Family Learning Gallery is open on a first come, first serve basis. In order to keep play safe and fun for all, we limit the number of visitors in the room. Make sure to get in the lines for EXPERIENCE and CREATE on Second Sunday by 4:00 p.m. as entry into the lines closes at this time.
Over the past year, the High Museum of Art convened experts from around Atlanta who work in different areas of education, from early learning and design thinking, to accessibility and serving people with disabilities, to brainstorm for the new Greene Family Learning Gallery. Hear below from a few of our trusted advisors, whose input has been invaluable in shaping the project and creating a family gallery that the High hopes will be a national model.Sarah Bridges-Rhoads, Assistant Professor, Co-Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Creative and Innovative Education (MACIE), Georgia State University
“I am very excited about how the Greene Family Learning Gallery invites children and families to engage and experiment with various creative processes and techniques. Children and families will be able to build upon and reimagine those processes and techniques as they create at home together!” —Sarah Bridges-Rhoads, Ph.D.Margie Cooper, President, Inspired Practices in Early Education and board member, North American Reggio Emilia Alliance
“The High Museum is poised to interact beautifully with children and their families through the newly expanded Greene Family Learning Gallery. The innovative experiences children will enjoy each time they visit the Museum will become part of what childhood means in Atlanta.” —Margie Cooper, Ph.D.Emily Max, Kindergarten Teacher, Toomer Elementary School, Atlanta Public Schools
“The Greene Family Learning Gallery integrates the visual appeal and sophistication of the High Museum into a child-centered space that ignites endless possibilities for open-ended play, imagination, and creativity. Each visit to the gallery will open up a new learning experience with different opportunities to build, create, and dream.” —Emily MaxTamara Pearson, Associate Director of School and Community Engagement, CEISMC, Georgia Tech
“The opening of the newly designed Greene Family Learning Gallery represents an opportunity for families of all different backgrounds to experience firsthand what makes the High Museum a special place to visit—a place that values creativity, innovation, exploration, and the unique gifts that exist within all of us and showcases those values in everything they do.” —Tamara PearsonDeklah Polansky, Creative Director and Partner, studio’farrell
“Let’s face it: despite the cultural aspirations we hold dear for our children, not everyone is into a weekend visit to the art museum. For some, it is an acquired taste that does not stack up that well against the local water slide, arcade extravaganzas, or the all-consuming digital handheld screen. The new Greene Family Learning Gallery, however, feels like the perfect introduction to ease the disinterested and protesting child into a whole new interactive and sensorial creative journey. This innovative space has the potential to spark their curiosity to go beyond the “kids space” and ask, “What else is going on here?!” I am so proud to have played a small part in shaping this vision for kids and family engagement. My boys and I can’t wait to experience it and make it a regular weekend haunt.” —Deklah PolanskyKim Thorpe, Educational Program Specialist, Metro RESA
“The revision of the Greene Family Learning Gallery aims to offer families an inclusive environment to play and explore.” —Kim ThorpeMeghan M. Welch, Program Specialist, L4GA Grant, Georgia Department of Education
“I’ve been so impressed with how the High has so intentionally focused on the inclusion of all families in the planning and redesign of space. This project has and will elevate Atlanta and surrounding areas as a community that values rich early childhood experiences.” —Meghan M. Welch
In October of 1968, the High Museum of Art introduced its first dedicated space for families to learn, play, and explore. The first installation was called Color/Light/Color (1968–1971). The space explored the nature, properties, and uses of color. In a press release from 1969 or 1970, Gudmund Vigtel (director of the High Museum, 1963–1991) said: “My proudest accomplishment to date is the Junior Activities Center established within the museum … children are the art audiences of the future. The more knowledgeable they are, the greater the dialog possible between the community and the museum.”
The family gallery space evolved during the 1980s and moved into the Richard Meier–designed Stent Family Wing. Both Sensation (1983–1988) and Spectacles (1988–1993) still garner gleeful excitement in the voices of people who regularly describe the fun they had there.
With the 2005 addition of the buildings designed by architect Renzo Piano, we introduced the Greene Family Learning Gallery. The first installation (2005–2018) focused on five activity areas based around creative play and rooted in the High’s collection.
In 2018, To mark the fiftieth anniversary of the High’s commitment to families, we have totally redesigned and expanded the Greene Family Learning Gallery with all-new interactive environments created in collaboration with Roto design firm. The new Greene Family Learning Gallery has expanded to include a second space directly across the hall — doubling its previous footprint. The two new galleries are called CREATE and EXPERIENCE.
1974–1978: The City
1978–1979: Children in America
1979–1983: Spaces and Illusions
1993–2003: Visual Arts Learning Space (VALS)
2005–2018: The Greene Family Learning Gallery
2018–present: The Greene Family Learning Gallery – CREATE and EXPERIENCE