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Courtesy High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art
In Midtown Atlanta, the High Museum of Art has become a regional leader in fine arts and culture. Since it was founded in 1905, the High Museum has grown to encompass some 13,000 works of art.

“We’re really an encyclopedic art museum,” said Marci Tate, public relations specialist at the museum. “We’re the leading art museum in the Southeast.”

The principal museum building was constructed in 1955, and a new wing opened in 2005. The numerous galleries in these two buildings hold a permanent collection that features extensive 19th- and 20th-century American art, European paintings and decorative art, modern and contemporary art, and African art.

Among highlights, visitors will find numerous interesting pieces of furniture and decorative arts, including Colonial American furnishings and chairs designed by famous 20th-century architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The European collection contains works dating as far back as 1513, as well as paintings by the likes of Claude Monet, Albrecht Dürer and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Some of the most memorable works reside in the museum’s contemporary section. Guests can see an Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe or gaze into the massive reflective steel disk created by Anish Kapoor. The folk art collection has numerous religious-themed paintings created by Georgia preacher and artist Howard Finster, as well as works by many other self-taught artists.

The museum offers a special set of docent-led tours for groups. In addition to highlights tours, group leaders can select tours that showcase the museum’s architecture or African art collections, or they can select tours that focus on the contributions of women and African-Americans to the museum collection.

Inside CNN
Just a few blocks from Pemberton Place, the CNN Center offers a different kind of museum experience for groups. The large building is the home of CNN and its affiliated television networks, and visitors can tour the building and studios as part of the Inside CNN experience.

“This is one of those quintessential Atlanta experiences,” said Jennifer Cruce, senior marketing manager for Inside CNN. “You usually get to see an anchor in the studio on set.”

Each tour lasts about an hour, and takes visitors into restricted areas of the building to watch as crews, anchors and reports broadcast live on cable channels around the world. The experience begins in a mock studio where guests can try their skills at reading from a teleprompter or doing a weather forecast in front of a green screen.

After that, the tour proceeds to visit the newsrooms and studio spaces of CNN and its sister network, HLN. In the newsrooms, guides explain how workers gather the news and prepare stories to be read on air. In the studio portions, groups watch from behind glass as anchors broadcast live from high-tech sets; guests also learn about the intricate cameras and other equipment used to mount a professional television production in real time.

For groups with a special interest, the Inside CNN team offers VIP tours that take visitors onto the news sets and into the control room where producers and editors manage the productions. On Thursdays, the Morning Express Tour gives groups a chance to meet Robin Meade, the popular host of HLN’s morning newscast.

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.