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Impact Report

February 1, 2021 | Mark Mills

Thank you for making a difference!

Your generous support ensures the High Museum of Art remains a premier destination, presenting art and artists to inspire, enrich, and delight visitors of all backgrounds.

Family sit outside with a smartbox kitOn behalf of all of us at the High Museum of Art, thank you for your support. We are extremely fortunate to count you among our closest friends and Museum family. With thirteen exhibitions and dozens of school, family, and public programs, we facilitated an engaging dialogue with diverse audiences of more than 323,136 visitors on-site last year and served another 1,552,467 online thanks to your generosity.

Our vision was to create a dynamic suite of exhibitions and programs to foster an understanding and appreciation for the visual arts. We also wanted to ensure these programs were accessible and inclusive to all in our community. We cannot overstate the impact of your support in making these programs available, benefiting tens of thousands of students, families, and individuals.

Although we faced a number of challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis, including the temporary closing of the Museum, this created new opportunities to bring the Museum’s collections and educational resources directly into homes through new and engaging online programs. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people enjoyed personal art encounters during these trying and uncertain times.

We are immensely proud of our collective work to bring such high-quality, insightful, and inspiring exhibitions and educational programs to our city. Your commitment ensures the High remains one of Atlanta’s most definitive cultural resources. Thank you!

Rand Suffolk
Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Director


Three people having a photo op at a party

Photo by CatMax Photography.

Whether it was the popular Second Sundays when we open the Museum free to the public and offer a broad array of activities; Toddler Thursdays when the High is abuzz with the potential artists of tomorrow; or the new Creative Aging programs designed for older adults to experience our collection in fun and innovative ways, your support made it possible for us to meet people of all ages where they are and provide profound, often transformational experiences.

Second Sundays
FY20 Attendance: 55,115
Average Monthly Attendance: 5,511+

On the second Sunday of each month, the High offers free admission for all visitors from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and special programming from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Each month features new activities including art making, performances, and tours of the High’s collection and special exhibitions.

Art Access
Total Attendance: 25,012
Art Access is designed to remove the economic barriers that typically prevent Title I school students from visiting the High Museum of Art. Art Access provides Georgia students a high-quality, dynamic learning experience that supports state standards.

Toddler Thursdays
FY20 Total Attendance: 6,525
Designed for children ages fifteen months through three years with their caregivers, Toddler Thursdays engage children’s creativity and incorporate monthly themes with related artwork, art-making activities, stories, and tours.

Children using smARTbox in FY2020: 8,763 new and 3,318 returners
Total number of children with a smARTbox: 34,504

The smARTbox program was launched in July 2017 as a substantial new learning tool that combines the High’s robust art education and art-making materials in a handy kit that families with young children can enjoy while at the Museum and at home.

Child participates in performance in Robinson AtriumEDUCATION BY THE NUMBERS



This past year, nine works were conserved mostly in preparation to go on view in a special exhibition. Special thanks go to Bank of America for funding the conservation and study of ten works by renowned African American artist Thornton Dial from the Museum’s collection. The Museum conducted a full assessment of these works using analytical and imaging techniques that captured each work’s component parts and created a baseline understanding of how Dial’s fabrication practices and materials have deteriorated over time. When complete, this project will not only facilitate the preservation of Dial’s most important assemblages but will also provide the basis for important scholarship on his materials and methods and establish protocols for the conservation of his work as well as the entire spectrum of self-taught artists working in nontraditional, mixed media.


In FY20, more than three hundred objects were added to the collection, including approximately $1.3 million expended for objects with an estimated combined value of more than $30 million.

Philanthropists Doris and Shouky Shaheen donated their entire Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and modernist painting collection, totaling twenty-four artworks, to the Museum. The Shaheen gift is one of the most significant groups of European paintings ever to enter the Museum’s collection, rivaled only by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation donation in 1958, which established the core of the High’s European art holdings. This marks the High’s first acquisition of paintings by renowned artists such as Henri Fantin-Latour, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, and Alfred Sisley. In recognition of the gift, the Museum established the Doris and Shouky Shaheen Gallery in its Stent Family Wing, where the paintings are currently on view.


Glo activation

Photo by CatMax Photography.

In FY20, the High’s curatorial team crafted a robust schedule of exhibitions that celebrated the excellence of the Museum’s collections while reaching beyond its boundaries to present new and riveting material to the Southeast. We strove to select exhibitions representing a broad range of cultures, styles, and art forms.

These exhibitions, along with the recently reinstalled permanent collections, were enjoyed by 323,136 visitors, including 40,774 schoolchildren.

European Masterworks: The Phillips Collection
April 6–July 14, 2019

Hand to Hand: Southern Craft of the Nineteenth Century
October 2018–August 2019

Supple Means of Connection
July 25–September 8, 2019

The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children
June 22–September 15, 2019

Of Origins and Belongings, Drawn from Atlanta
June 1–September 29, 2019

People standing in an exhibition gallery

Photo by CatMax Photography.

Strange Light: The Photography of Clarence John Laughlin
May 11–November 10, 2019

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
October 19–December 16, 2019

“Something Over Something Else”: Romare Bearden’s Profile Series
September 14, 2019–February 2, 2020

Virgil Abloh: “Figures of Speech”
November 12, 2019–March 8, 2020

Fine Lines: American Works on Paper
October 23, 2019–March 22, 2020

Our Strange New Land: Photographs by Alex Harris
November 27, 2019–May 3, 2020

The Plot Thickens: Storytelling in European Print Series
February 22–July 19, 2020

Paa Joe: Gates of No Return
February 29–August 16, 2020