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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  Girl With a Pearl Earring Opens at High Museum of Art

City Traveler Blog

Girl With a Pearl Earring Opens at High Museum of Art

Gerard ter Borch Woman Writing a Letter, ca. 1655 Oil on panel 15 3/8 x 11 5/8 in. (39 x 29.5 cm) Mauritshuis, The Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands; inv. no. 797XLM12.005

This summer, Atlanta’s High Museum (a CityPASS attraction) is offering visitors plenty of compelling reasons to come inside and beat the summer heat. Dutch masterpieces, riveting photographs of the civil rights struggle, and drawings by Atlanta’s contemporary artists highlight this summer’s engaging lineup.

Located in Midtown Atlanta's arts and business district, the High has grown from its origins at a stately home on Peachtree Street, to become the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. It has more than 13,000 works of art in its permanent collection, and is well known for supporting and collecting works by Southern artists.

Dutch Masterpieces

Opening this Sunday, June 23, Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis, features Johannes Vermeer’s iconic painting, which will be exhibited for the first time in the Southeast U.S. This well-known work headlines a show full of the warmth and color of the Dutch Golden Age painters, which includes Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals and Jan Steen. According to the museum, these Dutch artists more readily depicted everyday subjects and commoners than did their Southern European contemporaries, and are known for exhibiting greater wit and warmth in their work. The show, which runs through Sept. 29, features:

  • Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665
  • Carel Fabritius, Goldfinch, 1654
  • Rembrandt van Rijn, "Tronie" of a Man with a Feathered Beret, ca. 1635
  • Jan Steen, The Way You Hear It, Is The Way You Sing It, ca. 1665
  • Jacob van Ruisdael, View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds, 1670-1675
Rembrandt Harmensz Van Rijn Susanna, 1636 Oil on panel 18 11/16 x 15 3/16 in. (47.4 x 38.6 cm) Mauritshuis, The Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague, Netherlands; inv. no. 147XLM12.025

Civil Rights Struggle

In its permanent collection, The High Museum has 12,000 pieces of 19th and 20th century American and decorative art, European and African works, and a trove of modern, contemporary and folk art. Some of the most striking works in the High's photography collection are photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, portraying heroes and leaders, and the movement’s struggles and triumphs between 1956 and 1968.

Rotating its display every six months, these photographs portray the social protests from Rosa Parks’ arrest to the Freedom Riders, and the March on Washington, D.C. It is fitting that Atlanta, the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., is prominently featured in the collection, which provides a great teaching moment for young people.

Builder Levy American, born 1942 March on Washington, D.C., 1963 gelatin silver print 13 7/16 x 10 1/2 inches High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Purchase with funds from Dr. Henrie M. Treadwell, 2007.200

The photos were shot by artists, activists, and journalists who risked everthing to document these critical years in our nation’s history. If part of art’s intent is to provoke and inspire, then these images certainly fit the bill.

Showcasing Local Talent

Museums do their best to bring in well-known works from long ago, created by famous people in faraway places. These exhibits get buzz, crowds and memberships. But what I like about the High Museum is the attention it is paying this summer to local artists. Drawing Inside the Perimeter displays more than 50 drawings on paper from its permanent collection by Atlanta artists. It also features two wall drawings by HENSE and Rocio Rodriguez that were created exclusively for this exhibition. Plus, they’re new — most of the works in the exhibit have been acquired since 2010.

According to Arts ATL, Michael Rooks, The High Museum’s curator of contemporary art, has worked with assistant curator Lily Siegel to assemble this exhibit. They made frequent visits to local gallery openings, events and studios to become better acquainted with the Atlanta artists, many of whom will appear in the exhibition.

Thirsty Thursdays is another great reason to escape the late-day humidity, enjoy a beverage and enjoy a docent-led tour of the permanent collection at 6:30 p.m. This Atlanta attraction has half-price tickets after 4:00 p.m. and drinks are for purchase until the museum closes at 8:00 p.m.

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