Seven museum curators from different departments have chosen one piece of artwork each to present to community members, who will vote for the best ones to be added to the collection.
“It’s a lot of fun. It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to know the curator,” said Helen Griffith, event co-chair and chair of the High’s board of directors’ collections committee. “Each curator then makes a formal presentation, and gives their dog and pony show about why they think this piece should be in the High collection.”
Griffith said the museum has added 15 pieces of artwork from the Collectors Evenings so far, and she feels like everything chosen for this year’s event would enhance the museum’s collection.
“They’re all very different,” she said. “There will be a photograph, a piece of folk art, and African art.” Additionally, there will be European, American and decorative art.
“The whole idea behind it, of course, is not only to build up the museum’s permanent collection but to let people interested in the arts to have a participatory part in the building of the collection,” Griffith said. “This gives them an opportunity to take a look and vote on something they’d personally like to see in the collection.
“The voting rounds go on until the funding for the artwork is gone, she said.
“We usually take in about three pieces because they’re expensive,” Griffith said. “The more people have, the more money we have to spend.”
This marks Brett Abbott’s third Collectors Evening as the museum’s curator of photography. He said he is presenting one of Brazilian artist Sebastiao Salgado’s photos, called “Church Gate Station, Western Railroad Line, Bombay, India,” which is from a seven-year photographic project called “Migrations.”
“He is certainly one of the significant documentary photographers of the 20th century,” he said. “He went across 43 countries to survey population surges around the world. … It is beautiful and poetic but also very serious work. It looks at some issues humanity faces.”
Chosen artists include Joyce Pensato, Thornton Dial, Edme-Alexis-Alfred Dehodencq, Mathias Bengtsson, George Henry Yewell and an unknown African artist.
Tickets for tables of 10 are $12,500, tickets for two are $2,500 and $5,000, and individual tickets are $500 each.
“In the springtime, there will be a party to come see the pieces on display and see your vote hanging where it should be,” Griffith said.
New to the evening will be a post-dinner live auction featuring 11 auction lots for sale.
If you go:
o What: High Museum's Collectors Evening
o When: Friday at 6:30 p.m.
o Where: The Foundry at Puritan Mill, 916 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd., Midtown
o Tickets: $500 per person
o Information: (404) 733-4557 or www.high.org