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    Free Preview of Leonardo Exhibition on Monday, October 5

    ATLANTA, September 30, 2009 – For the first time in the museum’s history, the High will offer a free preview of “Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius” on Monday, October 5 from 12 noon to 7 p.m. (no advance reservations; last ticket issued at 6 p.m.) The exhibition, which officially opens to the public on Tuesday, October 6, explores Leonardo da Vinci’s profound interest in and influence on sculpture. It features approximately 50 works, including more than 20 sketches and studies by Leonardo, some of which will be on view in the United States for the first time. The exhibition also features work by Donatello, Rubens, Verrocchio, and Rustici—including Rustici’s three monumental bronzes from the façade of the Baptistery in Florence that comprise “John the Baptist Preaching to a Levite and a Pharisee,” which was recently restored and has never left Florence. Also included are works from world-renowned collections, including those of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Vatican Museums, the Musée du Louvre, the British Museum, and the Museo Nazionale del Bargello in Florence.

    “We know budgets are tight these days, but this is such a significant exhibition,” stated Philip Verre, the High’s Chief Operating Officer. “With some of the most important works of art in the world, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience it. So, we’re giving Atlanta a gift. For the first time ever, we are offering a free preview day of the exhibition, because everyone deserves the opportunity to meet a genius.”

    “Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius” is organized by the High Museum of Art in association with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, and in collaboration with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence, Italy. The exhibition is generously supported by Lead Corporate Partner Delta Air Lines and sponsor Campanile Plaza. Support has also been provided by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation and Leonardo Society members Loraine P. Williams, Mrs. Thornton Kennedy, Lanier-Goodman Foundation, Morgens West Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Gary W. Rollins, with additional support from the Atlanta Foundation and the Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Generous support for the Sforza horse is provided by Art Partners. In-kind support comes from Superior Rigging and UPS. Restoration of Rustici’s “John the Baptist Preaching to a Levite and a Pharisee” from the façade of the Baptistery in Florence was sponsored by the Friends of Florence.

    High Museum of Art
    The High Museum of Art, founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. With more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of nineteenth and twentieth century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s Media Arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005, the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High, please visit www.high.org.

    The Woodruff Arts Center
    The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. A not-for-profit center for performing and visual arts, its campus comprises the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art, Young Audiences and the 14th Street Playhouse. # # #