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The High Museum: A Break from Normalcy

by share

Art serves, above all, to bring each of us a little bit closer. Art is poignant. Art is honest. It seems that the High Museum of Art is always searching for new pieces of art to add to its temporary and permanent collections to contribute to a diverse and unique collection.

From intimidating sculptures of horses to abstract portraits of the night, I found that most of the High’s art comes to life by breaking from the normal and expected. Why paint a man exactly as he is when you could make his silhouette a coloring book? Why draw the night sky at the top of the portrait when it could be breathing into every corner of the page?

The High Museum released its Andy Warhol exhibit on Saturday, June 3.

Here a sample of what else the museum has to offer this summer. 

the oppressed

The oppressed holds his hand out for mercy without meeting me in the eye. How many times have his cries for help gone unanswered?

Horse Sculpture by Deborah Butterfield

Like most great art, “Horse Sculpture” by Deborah Butterfield freaks me out a bit. I imagine him suddenly waking up and trotting mechanically in my direction.

Apples and Oranges

“Apples and Oranges” by Judy Pfaff could easily symbolize my favorite mood: silly, carefree and wild. It’s when the big idea hits, or summer break begins.

Laura Owens painting

This painting is by Laura Owens. Look closely. Is that a cat hiding in the shadows?

EW, SN Radcliffe Bailey

This painting is by far the prettiest but also has deeper meaning. According to a Tumblr post by The High Museum, “EW, SN,” (2011) by Radcliffe Bailey, “refers to the Great Migration when more than six million African Americans, including Bailey’s own relatives, migrated from east to west and from south to north to pursue economic opportunities in urban centers.”

Fahamu Pecou self portrait

I love this self-portrait by Fahamu Pecou. His stance is entirely proud and unapologetic, and his shadow is embedded with gold.

Burkina Faso High Musuem

A description on the wall by this piece reads, “In Burkina Faso, art is not just something to look at but also serves life-sustaining purposes, vital to the well-being of individuals and communities.”

In my opinion, the best art in the High Museum was the building itself, which is a part of the larger Woodruff Arts Center. Skyscrapers towered over us from all sides, light fell through windows in every direction onto the art, and from the first floor, I could see the statues, the ramps and the sky.

Maya High Museum Towers Around

If you call yourself an Atlantan, the Woodruff Arts Center, including the High Museum within it, is a must-see.

AWW visits the High


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Maya, 16, will attend Agnes Scott College in the fall. She loves Atlanta. Maya also took the photos for this story.

If you want to go…

The High Museum of Art is open M-Sat., 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sun. 12-5 p.m. $14.50 per person*. Click here for details.

*Teen nights are free for Atlanta-area teens. Stay tuned for a story about the next teen night/open studio, coming up in August. 

[Related: Click here for Ogechi’s “Reflection on The High Museum of Art by a Black Woman.”]

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