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News: High Museum plans major reboot

The High Museum of Art (Image courtesy of the High Museum)

The High Museum of Art will soon embark on a first comprehensive revision of the collection galleries since the museum’s 2005 expansion, and it has retained New York firm Selldorf Architects to oversee the project.

Selldorf Architects, founded by Annabelle Selldorf in 1988, has an international practice with a special emphasis on cultural institutions. Clients include the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA; the Frick Collection in New York; UMA Arles, a contemporary art space in Arles, France; and le Stanze del Vetro, a museum dedicated to contemporary glass in Venice, Italy. The firm has designed spaces for New York art dealers such as David Zwirner, Hauser & Wirth, and has designed exhibitions for the Whitney Museum and the Venice Art Biennale.

“Selldorf’s track record of achievement and aesthetics dovetail perfectly with our Pritzker Prize–winning architecture by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano and our desire for visitors to rediscover and deepen engagement with the High’s collection through this reinstallation,” said Rand Suffolk, the High’s Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., director.

The firm’s purview will encompass all aspects of gallery design and space planning, including wall configurations, casework design and fabrication, object placement and mounting and signage. In addition to refining the appearance of the Museum’s collection galleries and improving the functionality of lighting systems, plans include improvements to visitor wayfinding and accessibility throughout the museum.

Annabelle Selldorf is the founder of Selldorf Architects. The firm will oversee a major revision of the High’s collection galleries. (Courtesy Selldorf Architects)

“The reinstallation of the collection is an opportunity to create a more coherent and unified experience throughout the High,” said Annabelle Selldorf. “We are very excited to be working with a collection of such depth and quality in buildings by two architects whose work I hold in the highest regard.”

Architectural Digest India profiled Selldorf in 2017, naming her “the art world’s favorite architect” and a “master of minimalism.” In 2017, art website Artsy.net named her as one of several architects “transforming the way we experience art.”

The High’s reinstallation, which will involve all seven of the High’s curatorial departments, will emphasize key concepts and core strengths across genres and time periods. Plans are still in development, with more details to be announced in the coming months.

The Museum will close its collection galleries beginning in May for the duration of the project, but special exhibition galleries will remain open. The museum will debut the new presentations in fall 2018.

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