Since opening its doors to the public in 1880s, the museum has grown from a renovated family mansion into a distinguished cultural institution boasting three architecturally-significant buildings and a permanent collection of approximately 4,000 works of art from America and Europe, dating primarily from the 18th-21st centuries. Located in Savannah’s historic district, the museum consists of the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House two circa 1820 National Historic Landmark buildings and the contemporary Jepson Center. It is the oldest public art museum in the Southeast. I'm dying to see the The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design.
The Georgia Museum of Art opened in 1948 and is the official state museum of art. The museum offers programming for patrons of all ages and free admission to the public for all exhibitions. The museum strives, most of all, to fulfill the legacy of its founder, Alfred Heber Holbrook, and provide art for everyone, removing barriers to accessibility and seeking to foster an open, educational and inspiring environment for students, scholars and the general public. I love the modern building it is housed in now...it makes for an interesting change given the majority of classical style architecture throughout UGA's campus.
I always enjoy their permenant collection, especially the decorative arts. I'm looking forward to seeing the William H. Johnson exhibit this spring.
Some people might not consider D.C. in the South but technically it is South of the Mason Dixon... I visited Washington D.C. in fifth grade and being the nerdy child I was (and still am), dragged my family to every possible museum I could. The National Gallery exposed me many artists I had never seen in person...Rothko, Oldenburg, Calder, Lichenstein, Warhol, Matisse and many others. I remember feeling confused yet ultimately intrigued by the what I saw. In retrospect, my visit to the National Gallery inspired me to seek out/study art.
The Birmingham Museum of Art (BMA) will always be one of my favorites. I grew up going here when visiting family in Bham and spent countless hours here while in my art history program at Birmingham Southern College. Their collection of American Art is fabulous, with the portrait of Lady Helen Vincent, Viscountess d'Abernon by John Singer Sargent being one of my favorites.
In 2012, the BMA organized an incredible exhibit entitled The Look of Love: Eye Miniatures from the Skier Collection. It was the first major exhibition of lover's eye jewelry. I was lucky to catch the exhibit while on view at the Georgia Museum of Art. Stunning.
Here is a little backstory about the lover's eye jewelry...
Exquisite in craftsmanship, unique in detail, and few in number, lover's eye miniatures are small-scale portraits of individual eyes set into various forms of jewelry from late 18th- and early 19th-century England. Featuring an impressive 98 pieces, the collection is considered to be the largest of its kind, with only 1,000 lover's eye miniatures thought to be in existence worldwide. Part of a trend that began with Britain's Prince of Wales (later George IV), clandestine lovers exchanged these customized tokens depicting one another's eyes, as such a feature might only be recognized by persons of the most intimate familiarity. Thus, behind the skilled artistry with which each of these tiny portraits was painted, lie the enchanting stories of secret romance and love lost, which inspired the creation of this popular, albeit short-lived fashion. 1. High Museum of Art
It should come as no surprise that the High Museum is at the top of the list. With an incredible calendar of exhibits throughout the year and an impressive permanent collection, I love visiting The High. I can't wait to visit this spring to see Friday & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting and Gogo: Nature Transformed.