Thursday, April 24, 2014

The High Museum -- $4 Million for Photography

Atlanta's High Museum of Art has announced receipt of several gifts totaling nearly $4 million to support development and exhibition of its photography collection.

A gift from Donald Keough, former president and chief operating officer of Coca-Cola, and his wife Marilyn will endow a permanent curatorial position in photography and support ongoing photography programs and acquisitions at the Museum.

Currently held by Brett Abbott, the position will be named the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family Curator of Photography in recognition of their generosity.

The High also received a gift from Lucinda W. Bunnen, an Atlanta-based photographer and longtime supporter of the High’s photography collection, to create the first dedicated photography gallery in the Museum’s permanent collection space.

A gift from Paul Hagedorn will support photography acquisitions initiatives and initiate the department’s first acquisitions endowment, while a gift from the Yellowlees Family will be used to strengthen the Museum’s noteworthy collection of Southern photography.

 “These landmark gifts represent a transformational moment for photography at the High,” said Michael E. Shapiro, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr. director.

“Photography is our fastest growing area of collecting, research and programming, and these gifts will ensure that the High can continue our commitment to new scholarship and commissioning new works by living artists. We hope that these significant gifts inspire others to support our photography programs and the growth of our collection.”

The High Museum of Art wants us to know that it has been collecting photography for several decades and now holds more than 5,400 prints, holdings focus on American work of the 20th and 21st centuries, with special strength in modernist traditions, documentary genre and contemporary photography.

The collection also gives special attention to pictures made in and of the South, serving as the largest and most significant repository representing the region’s important contributions to the history of photography.

In this context, its worth noting that the High's “Picturing the South” initiative has commissioned established and emerging photographers to produce work inspired by the area’s geographical and cultural landscape.

Past participants include Sally Mann, Dawoud Bey, Emmet Gowin, Richard Misrach, Alex Webb and Alec Soth, whose commissions have all been added to the High’s permanent collection.

Congratulations to the High Museum, and to the good citizens of Atlanta, for their continuing support of photography in the American South.

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