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From funky to classic: the High delivers

Contemporary sculpture adds interest to the galleries.
  Melissa Lowrie

Canoe Kids
By Melisa Lowrie
Photos by Melissa Lowrie

The weather outside is at its wintery best ... as if the gray days are begging for color.
In its absence, we sought warmer hues through art.

From folk art to French Impressionists, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art is a modernistic building among southern architecture on Peachtree Street. Established in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, millions of dollars and a century later, the High boasts more than 14,000 classic and contemporary works in its permanent collection.

We decided to visit on a Sunday arriving just after the lunch hour. The ticket line wasn’t long, but the will call line was shorter. Prices are: $19.50-Adult, $12; Child (ages 6-17); $16.50-Senior (65+). Visitors also can buy tickets on the website,

The High Museum of Art in Atlanta is the leading art musem in the Southeast.

There are five levels of art to wander through, and with so much space, it never felt crowded. We started in the Stent Family Wing on the second level with European Art from the 14th to 19th centuries. The big names are there: Monet, Degas, Picasso, Matisse. It’s easy to get lost in the worlds they created.

According to the website, “The decorative arts and design collection is the most comprehensive survey of American decorative arts in the southeastern United States with more than 2,000 objects dating from 1640 to the present. Highlights include The Virginia Carroll Crawford Collection of American decorative art with important works by Alexander Roux, Herter Brothers, Tiffany & Co. and Frank Lloyd Wright.”

Another highlight was the ongoing Bangles to Benches exhibition. The contemporary jewelry and designs on display are both breathtaking and interesting. The Crochet Chair designed by Marcel Wanders is made of crocheted fiber and epoxy resin. Not to be outdone, the Campana brothers’ Sushi sofa is made from carpet, rubber, EVA, fabric and stainless steel.

The contrast in the High’s pieces—classic to contemporary—is a treat for the eyes. If impressionism isn’t your thing, there is plenty of modern and folk art to see. Photography, ceramics, sculpture, furniture and paintings of every genre tempt from every corner.

The High Museum’s website is a fantastic source. If you are looking for a specific piece or want to find a painting that caught your eye, go to the permanent collection section. Here you’ll find thumbnails of works with year, artist and title. Click on the thumbnail and a larger photo of the work comes up along with additional details: the artist’s nationality, life dates, medium, dimensions, and its location in the museum. This is a great tool to utilize if you’d like to put in a little research before a visit or create a scavenger hunt for the kids.

Modern Art hangs in the High along with classic pieces.

For my art-enthusiast child, this trip suited her like a kid in a candy store. Or an art-supply store ... either way. One thing is for sure, there is no shortage of inspiration for a creative mind.

Sundays from 2-4 p.m., the High offers “Artful Afternoons” with family art-making workshops. The day we visited the tables were packed with families creating art together. Weekend Family Tours are available Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. Visit for details.

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The Crochet Chair designed by Marcel Wanders is made of crocheted fiber and epoxy resin.   Paintings by American Henry Inman are on display.   Paintings by Claude Monet hang in the High.

After you visit the museum, you’ll want to leave time for the gift shop. It’s one of our favorites. Colorful socks with the face of the Mona Lisa are for sale among unique scarves, sketchbooks and toys, unconventional jewelry and colorful notecards. I may have spent more here than on tickets and parking ...

Artsy or not, a trip to the High Museum is a treat for kids and adults of all ages. Check the website for special exhibits, hours of operation (it’s closed on Mondays) and other information. The High is easy to get to from I-75 and is located at 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E. in Atlanta.

If you can’t make it to the High, take your Canoe Kids on another adventure. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

Centipede III bench by Mexican designer Hector Esrawe.

Canoe Kids chronicles child-approved adventures in North Georgia. Melissa Lowrie, husband Parish and their two children have enjoyed life in Big Canoe since 2006. Past columns are archived on


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