High Museum of Art – Permanent Collection Installation

Project Description

The re-installation of the permanent collection of the High Museum is organized around the themes of The Museum, Compare and Contrast, Life in Art, Reflections of Faith, Culture and Commentary, The City Seen, The Human Figure, Identity, Nature, Abstraction and Multiple Voices.

Associations by content of theme provide a fresh approach, departing from the more traditional curatorial divisions of chronology, typology, media, period, etc. A new energy is invoked within the artwork as thematic linkages inspire compelling visual and conceptual juxtapositions. The close proximity of artwork that would traditionally be galleries apart encourages the viewer to take an active role re-evaluating pre-conceptions and discovering new qualities and values within the work. Circulation through the collection is both sequential and flexible allowing for the possibility of movement both linear and meandering. Focal points frame and modulate the transition from one subject matter to another while vignettes and unexpected compositions provoke response and critique.

Visual access and movement from the galleries into the atrium, the major space around which the galleries are configured, help keep the museum visitors oriented. Newly configured gallery spaces vary in size and ambience, offering moments of intimacy and enclosure as well as openness and overview.

The primary goal of the installation is to strengthen the engagement between the public, the artwork, and the institution of the museum. In addition to creating a distinctive context for the artwork, the re-positioning of the visitor provokes questions concerning curatorial conventions, techniques of connoisseurship, and the organization and methodology of the museum. Layering of these concepts serves to strengthen and enhance the constantly changing dynamic between the public and the institution of the museum.



Project Information

project: re-installation of the Permanent Collection of the High Museum of Art
client: High Museum of Art
location: Atlanta, Georgia
completion date: April 1997
building area: 25,000 square feet
construction budget: $400,000