Press RoomPress ReleasesHigh Museum of Art Announces 2021 Advance Exhibition Schedule

High Museum of Art Announces 2021 Advance Exhibition Schedule

March 29, 2021

ATLANTA, March 29, 2021 — The High Museum of Art presents a rotating schedule of exhibitions throughout the year. Below is a list of current and upcoming exhibitions as of March 29, 2021. Note: The exhibition schedule is subject to change. Please contact the High’s press office or visit for more information or to confirm details. 

Upcoming Exhibitions 

“Our Good Earth: Rural Life and American Art”
April 17–Aug. 1, 2021

Since the nation’s founding, America’s national identity has been tied to rural life and the mythic figure of the humble yeoman farmer — a national icon credited with taming a vast nature. Even as the focus of American life drifted to the city from the farms, country ways remained a persistent subject of interest for artists. Through a selection of prints, drawings and photographs from the High’s collection, this exhibition will explore the many ways in which Americans imagined and engaged with life beyond the city limits over the course of a century. Works by artists ranging from Winslow Homer and Rhonda Nicholls in the 19th century to Thomas Hart Benton, Marion Greenwood, Clarence John Laughlin, Lewis Hine and Andrew Wyeth in the 20th will offer various views of country life. The artworks also will foreground the diversity of the High’s collection to present a dynamic and varied picture of the complex and compelling story of the American pastoral. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Underexposed: Women Photographers from the Collection”
April 17-Aug. 1, 2021

For nearly all of photography’s 180-year history, women have shaped the development of the art form and experimented with every aspect of the medium. Originally conceived in conjunction with the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted suffrage for some women, this exhibition showcases more than 100 photographs from the High’s collection, many of them never before on view, and charts the medium’s history from the dawn of the modern period to the present through the work of women photographers. Organized roughly chronologically, each section emphasizes a distinct arena in which women photographers flourished and often led the way. Among the artists featured are pioneers of the medium such as Anna Atkins as well as more recent innovators and avid experimenters, including Betty Hahn, Barbara Kasten and Meghann Riepenhoff. “Underexposed” celebrates the achievements of numerous professional photographers, including Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White and Marion Post Wolcott, who worked in photojournalism, advertising and documentary modes and promoted photography as a discipline. The exhibition also highlights photographers who photograph other women, children and families, among them Sally Mann, Nan Goldin and Diane Arbus, and those who interrogate ideals of femininity through self-portraiture. Also on view will be works by contemporary photographers who challenge social constructions of gender, sexuality and identity, including Zanele Muholi, Sheila Pree Bright, Cindy Sherman, Mickalene Thomas and Carrie Mae Weems. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

June 26-Sept. 19, 2021

Alexander Calder and Pablo Picasso are two of the foremost figures in the history of 20th-century art. This touring exhibition, which debuted last year at the Musée national Picasso-Paris and is coming to the High this summer, presents more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper from all phases of Calder’s and Picasso’s careers that reveal the radical innovation and enduring influence of their art. Conceived by the artists’ grandsons, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso and Alexander S. C. Rower, and organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the exhibition focuses on the artists’ exploration of the void, or absence of space, in representations ranging from the figurative to the abstract. Calder’s early wire figures, paintings, drawings, and revolutionary nonobjective mobiles and stabiles are integrated throughout the exhibition with profoundly inventive works by Picasso in every media. The juxtapositions are insightful, surprising and challenging, demonstrating the striking innovations these great artists introduced through their ceaseless reexamination of form, line and space. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; de Young Museum, San Francisco; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in partnership with the Calder Foundation, New York; Musée national Picasso-Paris (MnPP); and the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte (FABA).

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

“Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting”
July 2-Sept. 26, 2021

Since the invention of the first electric light in the 1800s to the development of ultraefficient lightbulbs in the 21st century, lighting technology has fascinated engineers, scientists, architects and designers worldwide, inspiring them toward new creative expression. The High will be the exclusive Southeast venue for this exhibition, the first large-scale show to consider electrical lighting over the past 100 years as a catalyst for technological and artistic innovation within major avant-garde design movements. The exhibition will feature nearly 80 rare lighting examples by leading international designers including Achille Castiglioni, Christian Dell, Greta Magnusson Grossman, Poul Henningsen, Ingo Maurer, Verner Panton, Gino Sarfatti, Ettore Sottsass and Wilhelm Wagenfeld, among many others. The works on view will demonstrate how these innovators harnessed light’s radiance and beauty, resulting in designs that extend beyond or challenge the functional nature of lighting. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

“Gatecrashers: The Rise of the Self-Taught Artist in America”
Aug. 20–Dec. 11, 2021

After World War I, artists without formal training began showing their work in major museums, “crashing the gates” of the elite art world, as the newspapers of their day put it. This exhibition will celebrate more than a dozen early 20th-century painters who fundamentally reshaped who could be an artist in the United States and paved the way for later generations of self-taught artists. “Gatecrashers” will highlight three painters who became the most widely celebrated self-taught artists of the interwar period — John Kane, Horace Pippin and Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses — and present their work alongside paintings by others, including Morris Hirshfield, Lawrence Lebduska and Josephine Joy, who represent the breadth of the art world’s attraction to self-taught artists in the first half of the 20th century. Despite their lack of formal training, these artists’ paintings of American life in the cities and rural communities where they lived, as well as fantastical scenes derived from their imaginations, were celebrated by fellow artists, collectors and taste–making museums such as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, especially in the 1930s and early 1940s. This exhibition will demonstrate how that recognition foreshadowed the increasing visibility of self-taught artists in today’s art world. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Really Free: The Radical Art of Nellie Mae Rowe”
Sept. 3, 2021-Jan. 9, 2022

During the last 15 years of her life, Nellie Mae Rowe (1900-1982) lived on Paces Ferry Road, a major thoroughfare in Vinings, Georgia, and welcomed visitors to her “Playhouse,” which she decorated with found-object installations, handmade dolls, chewing-gum sculptures and hundreds of drawings. Based on the High’s leading collection of Rowe’s art, “Really Free” is the first major exhibition of her work in more than 20 years and the first to consider her practice as a radical act of self-expression and liberation in the post-civil rights–era South. Rowe created her first works as a child in rural Fayetteville, Georgia, but only found the time and space to reclaim her artistic practice in the late 1960s, following the deaths of her second husband and her longtime employer. The exhibition will offer an unprecedented view of how she cultivated her drawing practice late in life, starting with colorful and at times simple sketches on found materials and moving toward her most celebrated, highly complex compositions on paper. Through photographs and reconstructions of her Playhouse created for an experimental documentary on her life, the exhibition also will be the first to put her drawings in direct conversation with her art environment. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

“Picturing the South: 25 Years”
Nov. 5, 2021-Feb. 6, 2022

In 1996, the High began commissioning photographers from across the world to engage with and explore the American South’s rich social and geographic landscape for its “Picturing the South” initiative. To date, the Museum has commissioned 16 artists and has built a collection of more than 250 photographs as part of the program, which include some of the most iconic photography projects of the last quarter century. To mark the 25th anniversary of “Picturing the South,” the High will mount a major exhibition that brings together all the commissions for the first time. Taken as a whole, the photographs amount to a complex and layered archive of the region that addresses broad themes, from the legacy of slavery and racial justice to the social implications of the evolving landscape and the distinct and diverse character of the region’s people. Works on view will include the first photographs in Sally Mann’s “Motherland” series; Dawoud Bey’s over-life-size portraits of Atlanta high school students; Richard Misrach’s “Cancer Alley” industrial landscapes; and new commissions by An-My Lê, Sheila Pree Bright and Jim Goldberg, which will debut in the exhibition. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

December 2021-March 2022

One of the world’s most acclaimed artists, KAWS (Brian Donnelly) brings the same level of complexity and skill to his printmaking as he does to his painting, sculpture and editioned works, which unite the worlds of design, popular culture and fine art. Since his groundbreaking exhibition at the High in 2012, KAWS has taken the world by storm with monumental sculptural installations and major exhibitions across the United States, Asia and Europe. His work is known by millions worldwide because, from the outset of his career, he has embraced the democratic principle of making his work as accessible as possible in the tradition of American pop art through editions of multiples, toys and prints. KAWS’s work is grounded in a deep and sustained involvement with graphic art and printmaking, from his early “subvertisements” to the sumptuous, painstakingly crafted screenprints of the last decade. “KAWS PRINTS” will feature all KAWS’s editioned prints in the High’s collection, including the portfolios “UPS AND DOWNS” (2013), “BLAME GAME” (2014), “NO REPLY” (2015), “MAN’S BEST FRIEND” (2015), “THE NEWS” (2017) and “TENSION” (2019), as well as single-image editions, bringing the pop art tradition of silkscreen printing full circle — from Warhol, Lichtenstein and Haring to KAWS — full circle. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Currently on View 

“Bestowing Beauty: Masterpieces from Persian Lands”
Through April 18, 2021

Bringing together nearly 100 works highlighting the rich and artistic cultural heritage of Iranian civilization from the 6th to the 19th century, “Bestowing Beauty” draws from one of the most significant collections of Persian art privately owned and rarely publicly displayed. Works in the exhibition include carpets, textiles, manuscripts, paintings, ceramics, lacquer, metalwork and jeweled objects. Highlights include exquisite miniature paintings from the Shahnama, the Iranian national epic; a range of historically significant ceramics; precious inlaid metal wares; finely woven silk fabrics; and a monumental silk carpet from the apex of Safavid dynasty carpet production. The objects on display reveal extraordinary stories, filled with experiences, ideas and emotions shared by all peoples. The artworks are grouped within the exhibition into sections focused on faith and piety, love and longing, kingship and authority, banquets and battles, and earth and nature. This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

“David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History”
Through May 9, 2021

David Driskell (1931-2020) was one of the most revered American artists of his generation, recognized for his painting and printmaking practices, often characterized by his use of collage, which combined the Black American experience with his keen observations of the American landscape and the imagery and aesthetic innovations of the African diaspora. This nationally touring exhibition, organized by the High and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine, brings approximately 60 artworks together to present highlights of his career and is the first major survey of his work since his death in April 2020 at the age of 88. The exhibition spans seven decades of his artistry from the 1950s to the 2000s, featuring works from museums, private collections and the artist’s estate. Select works exemplify his recurring motifs such as still lifes, pine trees, aspects of the natural world, African masks, and iconographies drawn from his Christian and Southern roots. They include paintings, drawings and prints that reveal Driskell’s mastery of materials and his indefatigable spirit of invention. This exhibition is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Portland Museum of Art, Maine.

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

“Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors”
Through May 9, 2021

The High presents this critically acclaimed video installation by Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson, who is celebrated internationally for his work combining musical, theatrical and cinematic elements. Produced in 2012, “The Visitors” is a mesmerizing nine-channel sound and video recording featuring performers and musicians playing a composition by Kjartansson and Davíð Þór Jónsson with lyrics from artist Ásdís Sif Gunnarsdóttir. Although playing together in unison, the performers each occupy separate rooms within a historic 43-room mansion on Rokeby Farm, an estate located in upstate New York. The unique visual and audio arrangement creates a layered portrait of the 200-year-old home and its inhabitants and poignantly expresses the experiences of love, loss, separation and reunion. The installation is accompanied by “Postcards to Marguerite,” a multipart work that draws a literary parallel to the musical exchange between friends in “The Visitors.” Featuring 415 postcards the artist sent to Marguerite Steed Hoffman over a period of 14 months, the work marks a series of prosaic moments alongside significant events of Kjartansson’s life. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. 

Read the full press release here.
Download press images here.

“Pioneers, Influencers, and Rising Voices: Women in the Collection”

In observance of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting some women the right to vote, this installation is drawn from the High’s collection and features artworks made exclusively by women. Artists represented include some of the most influential voices of the past 50 years, such as Kiki Smith, Lorna Simpson and Shirin Neshat; midcareer artists such as Won Ju Lim and Chantal Joffe; emerging artists such as Jamian Juliano Villani and Ella Kruglyanskaya; and Atlanta-based artists Annette Cone-Skelton and Rocío Rodríguez. Whether exploring the multidimensionality of installation art, refashioning Minimalist forms and strategies, or challenging male-dominated social hierarchies, the selected works are inspired by or related to feminist concerns, which were advanced by the women’s movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Concerns that still persist today include voter suppression strategies that seek to disenfranchise people from participating in the democratic process. This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

About the High Museum of Art
Located in the heart of Atlanta, the High Museum of Art connects with audiences from across the Southeast and around the world through its distinguished collection, dynamic schedule of special exhibitions and engaging community-focused programs. Housed within facilities designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High features a collection of more than 18,000 works of art, including an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American fine and decorative arts; major holdings of photography and folk and self-taught work, especially that of artists from the American South; burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, including paintings, sculpture, new media and design; a growing collection of African art, with work dating from prehistory through the present; and significant holdings of European paintings and works on paper. The High is dedicated to reflecting the diversity of its communities and offering a variety of exhibitions and educational programs that engage visitors with the world of art, the lives of artists and the creative process. For more information about the High, visit

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Media contact: 
Marci Tate Davis
Manager of Public Relations