Thursday, July 12, 2012

High Museum of Art Review

The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the Southeastern United States. There are over 120,000 pieces of artwork in their permanent collection. The High has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. 

A moms review:
If your looking for a fun place to explore and learn about art with your family then visit the High Museum of Art. Even young children can enjoy many parts of the museum, like the Green Family Learning Gallery. And budding artists will be exposed to the wide variety of art eras, medias and forms.

We visited the High during their FREE Woodruff Community Day which was an event to commemorate the 50 yr anniversary of the Orly tragedy. The first place we stopped was the Greene Family Learning Gallery which is located on the first level to the right when you enter. The Greene Family Learning Gallery is a hands-on discovery are with activities inspired by the galleries at the High. There are five hands-on activity areas: Building Buildings, Transforming Treasure, Making a Mark, Sculpting Spaces and Telling Stories. My daughters favorite part was the puppets and my sons favorite part was the building blogs. This area is suited for children from pre-school through about 10 yrs of age.

Then my daughter and I took one of the guided family tours. The wonderful docent (which is a volunteer trained to give tours) taught the children about scale. She explained everything in a way that even young children would understand and even pulled props out of her purse. She taught the children what scale was and then showed us five pieces of art work in different galleries that showed examples of large scale, small scale and proportions.

Afterwards we participated in one of the art working workshops where both of the kids had fun gluing paper and paper straws together.

Then we took a self guided tour of the galleries. The galleries that captured my children's attention the most were the Contemporary and Modern Art on the Skyward Level. Both of these exhibits contain a lot of mixed media artwork which children really seem to relate to. And they also enjoyed the African and Revisiting the South collection on the lower level.

We not only got to experience the High the day we visited but also the beautiful Alliance Theater where we got to see performances by the Young Audiences artists and play some of the Atlanta Symphony instruments.

Extra details:
  • For older kids be sure to check out the discover backpacks that will take your family on a 30-45 minute journey. The backpacks have art projects, puzzles, books, games, and easy-to-follow instructions to help parents and children connect with several works of art in the museum. The back packs can be borrowed FREE of charge by visiting the Wieland Pavilion Coat Check. Two discovery backpacks are available: Sculpture and Modern and Contemporary Art.   
  • On Saturdays and Sundays at 2 pm be sure to take an educational guided family tour. Family tours outside of the Greene Family Learning Gallery. And the tours should be different each time you visit the High, because there are several docents that volunteer and they each create their own unique tours. The tours last about 1/2 hr. No registration required and they are FREE. 
  • Every second Sunday of each month is Family Funday at the High. Families can enjoy artist demonstrations, art-making workshops and live performances.
  • Every Thursday, families with toddlers can explore the High's collection through letters, numbers, colors, and shapes and then participate in art-making activities inspired by their visit.
  • Stop by the Greene Family Learning Gallery and pick up your FREE self guided activity books. There is one on decorative arts, American art, and the High's world-renowned architecture. These books are designed for children ages 7-10. They are packed with lots of great information and will also make a great keepsake after your trip.
  • Be sure to pick up a map when you arrive and plan out your tour. The layout can be a little confusing at times and some places are only accessible from elevators or bridges.
  • If you plan to take photos at the High you must stop see a security guard at the Front Desk to obtain a free photography permit. Note not all galleries allow photography though.
  • Don't forget about the lower level at the High.
  • The food is expensive so to save money pack a lunch and eat out in the courtyard or cafe area.
  • Parking at the High can be pricey especially on the weekends when it is $15. To save a few dollars park across the street from the High off of Peachtree Street at the Laz parking garage for $9. It is patrolled by a security guard.
  • If you would like to find out what family programs are going on at the High check out this blog Highly Hands-On.
  • Take advantage of these special admission days if they apply to you. Every first Saturday of the month Fulton County residents get into the High for FREE. Must show an acceptable I.D. which includes valid driver's license, utility bill or student I.D. from a Fulton County school. Also on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive FREE admission. Discount offered for cardholder only. On Thursday evenings enjoy half-price admission from 4 to 8 p.m available online.
  • Children under 5 are FREE.
  • Make sure you speak to your children before visiting the museum about not touching the artwork. Explain to them that it can damage these priceless pieces.
  • The High is handicap and stroller accessible. 

1280 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30309  

Links to follow:
-HIGH Museum Website
-High Museum Facebook
-High Museum Twitter

Please visit the website or call for costs, tickets, program information, and more.

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