We had a family membership to the High Museum of Art that I allowed to lapse during the lockdowns. The last time we went, in 2019, was to see a Romare Bearden exhibit. At the time, I was only a few months along on my photography journey, so it did not occur to me to take a camera along. Proof of the fact that I wasn’t camera-minded at the time is the lack of even iPhone shots of the visit. Now, I’m longing to go back.
Art museums appeal to me; I try to visit one wherever I go. The East Building of the National Gallery in DC is probably my favorite. I spent a lot of time there during my DC days. The High, to me, is somewhat reminiscent of the East Building. The High’s modern architecture and multi-story atrium, filled with light, bring to mind the space dedicated to the Calder mobile in the East Building. Both have an intimate feel while being airy and warm, like that favorite corner one sits in, light streaming over the shoulder. The art and the ambiance are equally compelling. We haven’t made it back yet, but in a fit of nostalgia, we bought family memberships to the High Museum, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and the Atlanta History Center.
The central area of the High’s atrium is surrounded by a circular walkway that goes from the ground floor to the top level. Looking straight up, one can see the walkway forms a pattern similar to a chambered nautilus shell. In the past, I’ve noticed this architectural flourish as I quickly moved on to whatever exhibit was calling to me. I no longer take it for granted. On the next visit, there will be cameras. And, the first shot on the roll with be of that beautifully elegant spiral—I might even lie on my back to do it.