Recently we utilized our Bank of America free entry to visit the Atlanta High Museum of Art. For those of you who don’t know, Bank of America offers discounts/free entry to all cardholders for over 200 museums across the United States on the first full Saturday of the month. Although the time is limited, this discount has allowed us already to check out several museums-for free!
The High Museum of Art is located within the Woodruff Arts Center complex in Midtown Atlanta and there is a nearby Marta line stop making it a convenient location to visit various Atlanta attractions, without worrying about parking. The museum building is a unique shape, making the building itself a piece of art. Both inside and outside the museum, the structure is as captivating as the artwork itself. Uncommonly shaped walkways connect the floors and wrap around the circular structure (making it look similar to the old Busch Stadium for Cardinals fans). Inside are four floors of artwork ranging from primarily the 18th century until present, with a large range of more modern contemporary pieces. The majority of the pieces are from Europe and the United States, making the artwork limited in it’s diversity. For those interested in primarily European and American artwork from the past few centuries, the High Museum is ideal, but if you are looking to find artwork from around the globe you may need to venture to a different Atlanta art museum.
The space feels very expansive, but there doesn’t seem to be an overwhelming amount of artwork, which may be a reflection of the structure itself as the museum houses 14,000 pieces, not including visiting exhibits. The unusual space of the museum often has rooms oddly laid out and pieces of art seemingly placed into corners. Another issue with the layout of the museum is that it is not conducive for a large number of visitors at a time. Due to the strange shape, visitors in some areas are often forced into small rooms to view pieces, making it difficult to simply relax and stroll along as you look at the art. Finally, the primary issue that we experienced was the constant photo taking. Visitors were not often actually looking at the artwork, but simply walking up to the piece/painting/sculpture/furniture and snapping a picture and continuing. Since everyone was looking through their phone or camera instead, they were not aware of those who were standing looking at the artwork by both running into them or just blocking their view completely (without ever even realizing it). Overall, there are several great pieces at the High Museum of Art and the building itself is quite unique, making it overall a worthwhile visit.
We both agreed we enjoyed our visit, and the High Museum of Art was definitely worth a visit, but we were glad it was free.