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Past Exhibitions

Hand to Hand: Southern Craft of the 19th Century

October 2018–August 2019


Quilted bedcover in yellow and olive green featuring long snakes in horizontal bands.

Unknown African American Maker, Quilted Bedcover, ca. 1875–1900, cotton top, linen back, and cotton stuffing. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, purchase with funds from Ann and Tom Cousins and the Decorative Arts Acquisition Endowment, 1997.203.

This exhibition focuses on a selection of masterworks from the High’s holdings of 19th century Southern decorative arts, examining the great achievements in traditional, rural forms of quilts, ceramics, basketry and furniture. The style, techniques and materials of each work reveal not only the talents of their makers, but also the legacy of learned traditions that, in many instances, have continued to be handed down to following generations of makers.

Reflecting the rich blend of cultural influences in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and beyond, the exhibition includes several important works by African-American makers including David Drake, an enslaved potter working in South Carolina in the first half of the 19th century. Since the 1970s, the High has celebrated and explored the role and impact of Southern decorative arts, including the legacy of historical folk art, which forms an important component of the Museum’s current program through the mutual efforts of its Decorative Arts and Design and Folk and Self-Taught Art departments.

This exhibition will be the first in the new changing exhibition space established as part of the Museum’s collection reinstallation and located on the second level of the High’s Stent Family Wing.

This exhibition is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

Organization and Support

Hand to Hand: Southern Craft of the 19th Century is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta.

This exhibition is made possible by

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor
Delta logo.

Exhibition Series Sponsors

Northside Hospital logo.

Warner Media logo.

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
The Antinori Foundation
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
wish Foundation logo.

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
Tom and Susan Wardell
Rod Westmoreland

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole
Peggy Foreman
Robin and Hilton Howell
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust

Generous support is also provided by
Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.