High Museum of Art

Top choice Museum

in Midtown

Atlanta's modern High Museum was the first to exhibit art from Paris' Louvre and is a destination as much for its architecture as its world-class exhibits. The multilevel building houses a permanent collection of eye-catching late-19th-century furniture, early American modern canvases from the likes of George Morris and Albert Gallatin, and postwar work from Mark Rothko. You can easily lose yourself (and a day) in this excellent art museum.

The permanent collection

The permanent collection at the High holds over 18,000 different pieces. They fall into seven different categories: photography; decorative arts and design; African art; European art; American art; modern and contemporary art; and folk and self-taught art.

Exhibitions

The gallery hosts touring exhibitions (including the Obama Portraits in 2022), multi-sensory installations, displays of works by solo artists as well as themed shows and rotating pieces from the permanent collection. You could see works by big 20th-century names such as Picasso, through to contemporary photographers such as Zanele Muholi.

A light-filled atrium with white walls and ramps running up the side of it
The atrium of the High Museum's new wing was designed by Renzo Piano © Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

Architecture

The striking, bright-white art repository, with its curved ramps and monumental swooping three-story glass atrium that shelters natural light like a precious resource, is a Midtown icon, its reflective white enamel facade standing in stark contrast to the surrounding skyscrapers and greenery. It earned its designer, Richard Meier, the 1984 Pritzker Prize. The most recent expansion was designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 2005.

Tickets and other practicalities

Timed-entry tickets should be bought online in advance of your visit and give access to the galleries and exhibitions. Events are ticketed separately. The museum's galleries are all wheelchair-accessible.