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High Museum of Art

Atlanta’s art scene is booming, and the city is home to some of the top art museums in the country. If you’re an art-lover visiting or living in Atlanta, you’ll want to add these top art museums to your bucket list!

Atlanta’s art museums are perfect for a date, an outing with friends, or an educational adventure for the kids.

You won’t want to miss these top art museums in Atlanta!

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Experience Atlanta’s must-see tourist attractions with this exciting Atlanta CityPASS and visit them in any order, whenever it’s convenient for you!

Best Art Museums in Atlanta

1. High Museum of Art

High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia

The High Museum of Art is Atlanta’s premier art museum. Founded in 1905, this museum makes its home on Peachtree Street in Atlanta’s Midtown arts district. It is one of the top art museums in the Southeast.

The High’s permanent collection contains more than 16,000 pieces of art in the areas of African art, American art, decorative arts and design, European art, folk and self-taught art, modern and contemporary art, and photography. The High Museum of Art has something for every type of art-lover.

Admission to the High Museum of Art costs $16.50 per person and is free for children under 6.

2. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
TheContemporary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Founded in 1973 as a grassroots artists’ collective, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is one of the Southeast’s leading contemporary art museums.

Located in West Midtown, the center showcases over 200 local, national, and international artists through various exhibitions, project spaces, and programs. They focus on commissioning new works from artists who have not had a prior significant exhibition in the Southeast.

Admission to the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is free every day.

3. Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA)

Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
Thomson200, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia collects and archives significant contemporary works by Georgia artists. The museum then displays these artworks alongside works from around the world, placing local artists in a global context.

MOCA GA has an ever-expanding permanent collection of more than 1,300 works of art. It is one of the few contemporary visual arts museums to focus on local artists.

Admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia costs $5 per person and is free for children under 6, military members, and veterans.

4. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA)

Museum of Design Atlanta
John Ramspott, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Museum of Design Atlanta, located in Atlanta’s arts district in Midtown, was first opened in 1989. It is the only museum in the Southeast devoted exclusively to the study and celebration of design.

MODA presents exhibitions exploring how design affects people’s daily lives, including a focus on architecture, industrial design, interior design, graphics, and fashion.

Admission to the Museum of Design Atlanta costs $10 for adults; $8 for seniors, military members, and university students, and youth 12+; and free for children 11 and under.

5. Michael C. Carlos Museum

Michael C. Carlos Museum
Daniel Mayer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Michael C. Carlos Museum, located at the historic quadrangle of Emory University, has the largest ancient art collection in the Southeast. It is also one of the oldest museums in Georgia with a collection that dates back to 1876 when the museum was known as Emory College Museum.

The museum’s permanent collections contain more than 16,000 works of art. Exhibits include artworks from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Africa, the Near East, and the Americas as well as a collection of works on paper from the Renaissance to the present day.

Admission to the Michael C. Carlos Museum costs $8 for adults; $6 for seniors, students, and children aged 6-17; and free for Emory University students, faculty, and staff with their Emory ID and children under 5. You can rent an audio guide to the exhibits for an additional $2.

6. Center for Puppetry Arts

Center for Puppetry Arts
SummersSolutions, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Center for Puppetry Arts is one of Atlanta’s most unique art museums. It is the largest organization dedicated to the art form of puppetry in the United States and is one of the few puppet museums in the world.

This museum wants you to rethink everything you know about puppets and puppeteers. The museum presents puppets from various time periods and countries around the world. Their collection includes puppets from the film The Dark Crystal, The Lion King Broadway show, The Muppets, and more.

Admission to the Center for Puppetry Arts for the All-In-One Ticket (the museums, a show, and create a puppet) varies by show, but typically costs around $22 per person; for the Museum Only Ticket costs $16 per person; and a museum guided tour, when available, costs $6.50 per person.

Get your ticket to the Center for Puppetry Arts here.

7. SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film

SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, located on the SCAD Atlanta campus, focuses on the future of fashion design and engages visitors with dynamic exhibitions and captivating films.

The museum has an extensive gallery space, a fashion resource room for the presentation of techniques and materials, a state-of-the-art media lounge for educational film and digital presentations, and a collections storage.

Admission to SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film costs $10 for adults; $8 for seniors and military; $5 for college students with ID and SCAD alumni; and free for children under 14, SCAD students, faculty, and staff. They also have a $20 deal for families of three or more.

8. Hammonds House Museum

The Hammonds House Museum in West End celebrates African American fine art. Based in the former residence of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician and a passionate arts patron, the museum has a permanent collection of more than 450 works.

The museum displays art dating from the mid-19th century by artists from America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Highlights of the museum’s collection include 18 works by master artist Romare Bearden and the oldest known painting by landscape artist Robert S. Duncanson.

Admission to the Hammonds House Museum costs $10 for adults; $7 for seniors 62 and over; $5 for students; and free for children 12 and under.

9. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is the only small liberal arts university museum in the Southeast to regularly show nationally and internationally recognized exhibitions.

The museum presents three major exhibitions each year and several smaller exhibitions. These exhibitions feature international, representational, figurative, and spiritual works of art.

Admission for the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is free.

10. Spelman College Museum of Fine Art

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts is dedicated to art by and about women of the African diaspora. The museum is a site for teaching and learning at Spelman College and is open to the public.

The museum features groundbreaking and scholarly exhibitions amplifying art by Black women artists. They organize exhibition-related programs including lectures, gallery walks, panel discussions, and interpretive programs to allow audiences to delve into the works of art on view.

Admission to Spelman College Museum of Fine Arts is free. They do suggest a donation of $5, though.

Where to Stay in Atlanta

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Top Art Museums in Atlanta, Georgia For Art-Lovers

What are your favorite art museums in Atlanta? Let me know in the comments!

About the Author

Paige Watts is a travel expert and author of What's With Atlanta?, a guide to the quirks and charm of the ATL. A life-long traveler, Paige is dedicated to helping you discover the best things to do in the Southern USA and around the world. Her work has been featured in The Culture Trip, Matador, Newsbreak, MSN, NPR, and countless other interviews and podcasts.

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