Learn how artists use symbols to communicate without words, and try creating your own symbolic artwork.

By Melissa Katzin, Manager of Family Programs, High Museum of Art

Symbols have been used throughout art history to illustrate the invisible. From ancient art to modern art, we can find hidden meanings within artworks that tell us more about what, or who, we’re looking at.

In art, a symbol is an object or item that represents an idea or a feeling. Colors can be symbols, like yellow to denote happiness (check out our post on how landscape artists use color symbolism). …

Learn about Thrash, an artist who was instrumental in creating a new printmaking process that lent rich, deep tones to his prints of rural life in Georgia.

Video Credit: Ashley Wills

In the video above, Stephanie Heydt, the High Museum’s Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, introduces Dox Thrash (1893–1965) and his artwork Georgia Cotton Crop.

In this work depicting a rural farm scene, Thrash intentionally obscures fine detail. The subject is, in fact, a memory of his youth and his family’s sharecropper farm near Griffin, Georgia.

Etching of a farmhouse with a cotton field in Georgia.
Etching of a farmhouse with a cotton field in Georgia.

Learn how to use shadows to ground your artworks in real space and time.

By Melissa Katzin, Manager of Family Programs, High Museum of Art

Pointilist painting, in yellows, greens, and blues, depicting a boy in a straw hat that casts a distinct shadow on his left shoulder.
Pointilist painting, in yellows, greens, and blues, depicting a boy in a straw hat that casts a distinct shadow on his left shoulder.

Learn about Ilse Bing, a photographer whose work documented the “new woman” of the early twentieth century.

Video credit: Ashley Wills

Ilse Bing (American, born Germany, 1899–1998) received her first camera as a teenager and continued to explore the medium as a complement to her doctoral studies in art history. By 1929, she decided to pursue photography professionally and moved from Frankfurt to Paris, where she quickly established herself as a leading photojournalist.

A highly experimental printer, she was also among the earliest photographers to adopt the newly introduced 35 mm Leica camera, whose small size and fast shutter allowed…

In the videos below, two Mellon Undergraduate Curatorial Fellows share an insightful discussion on Bey’s photography and the power of his work.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art

Four part portrait of a black girl wearing a school uniform and a necklace that reads “Diana.”
Four part portrait of a black girl wearing a school uniform and a necklace that reads “Diana.”
Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953), Diana, 1998

Since the beginning of his career in the 1970s, Dawoud Bey (American, born 1953) has used his camera to create poignant meditations on visibility, race, place, and American history. From early street portraits made in Harlem to a recent series imagining an escape from slavery on the Underground Railroad, Bey explores photography’s potential to reveal underrepresented stories, transform stereotypes, convene communities, and create dialogue.

Below, listen in as…

On this historical culinary journey, Lauren Tate Baeza introduces three staple grains from ancient Africa, how they were prepared, and how you can cook them today.

By Lauren Tate Baeza, Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art, High Museum of Art

Photo: The Washington Post/Getty

The Neolithic period was a time of global agricultural revolution marking the beginning of human settlements and more rapid population growth. Wild grasses were among the first widely domesticated plant species, and they were bred to produce crops such as wheat, corn, sorghum, and varietal millets. …

Find out how Tonalist artists of the 1800s used subtle modulations in color to create mood and atmosphere, and then create your own monochrome collage.

By Melissa Katzin, Manager of Family Programs, High Museum of Art

Do you have a favorite color? Do certain colors make you happy or sad, excited or calm? Artists throughout history have used specific colors to convey a feeling, mood, or idea. Some of the most well-known artists who used color this way were part of the Tonalism movement, which started in 1880.

Tonalist artists began painting landscapes using a limited color palette. …

This Black History Month, watch as we explore David Driskell’s self portrait that references the ancient Kingdom of Benin.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art

Video credit: Ashley Wills

About David Driskell

Art Historian, curator, and artist, David Driskell was born in Eatonton, Georgia, in 1931. A lifelong educator, Driskell honed his teaching repertoire at HBCUs between 1955 through 1977, teaching at Talladega College, Howard University, and Fisk University.

David Driskell working on a self portrait in the 1950s.
David Driskell working on a self portrait in the 1950s.
David Driskell working on a self-portrait in his studio, Washington, DC, 1953. Courtesy of the David C. Driskell Papers at the David C. Driskell Center at the University of Maryland, College Park, via NGA.gov

The High Museum of Art’s relationship with Driskell began in 1977 when the Museum presented Driskell’s landmark exhibition, Two Centuries of Black American Art, the first traveling museum exhibition dedicated…

Between exhibitions, a calligraphy pop-up shop, and tons of great photo ops, there’s plenty to do with your loved one.

By Eva Berlin, Digital Content Specialist, High Museum of Art

A woman’s hand holds a greeting card with the message “Beautiful warrior, let love be your greatest weapon.”
A woman’s hand holds a greeting card with the message “Beautiful warrior, let love be your greatest weapon.”

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