Shaheen collection to go on view at High starting Nov. 22

One of the largest gifts ever to the High Museum of European paintings will go on view to the public for the first time on Friday, November 22

Featured image: Henri Matisse, Woman Seated at Her Piano, ca. 1924
(All images courtesy High Museum)

Last August, the High Museum announced the gift of 24 impressionist, post-impressionist and modernist paintings from Doris and Shouky Shaheen. The paintings, which include works by Monet, Pissarro, Modigliani, Matisse and others, will go on view to the public for the first time as part of the High’s permanent collection beginning Friday, November 22.

Officials at the High said the gift is one of the most significant groups of European paintings ever to enter the High’s collection, rivaled only by the Kress Foundation donation that established the core of the High’s European Art holdings in 1958. The gift also marks the High’s first acquisition of paintings by renowned artists such as Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, and Alfred Sisley.  It also strengthens the High’s holdings of work by Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, among other artists. 

The new Doris and Shouky Shaheen Gallery will be located in the High Museum’s Stent Family Wing.

Amadeo Modigliani, Portrait of Beatrice Hastings, 1914

“It’s been a great blessing of our life together to build this collection and live with these incredible works,” said the Shaheens in August. “Given our love for this collection, and our love for this city, we knew the High was the best home for these paintings. We’re thrilled that Atlantans will enjoy them for generations to come.”

Claude Monet, Cliffs of Pourville, Rough Sea, 1897

Atlanta residents since 1965, the Shaheens began to amass their collection in the early 1970s when they acquired Maurice de Vlaminck’s Banlieue de Paris(ca. 1922) from a local gallery. Over the past 50 years, the collection has grown to include paintings by some of the most recognized artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to the first works by Fantin-Latour, Matisse, Modigliani, Sisley, Maurice Utrillo and Vlaminck to enter the High’s collection, the gift includes paintings by Eugène Boudin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Vuillard. The paintings’ subjects range from sweeping landscapes and village scenes to intimate portraits and figure studies.

Alfred Sisley (French, 1839–1899), Une rue à Marly, 1876, oil on canvas, 15 x 22 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Doris and Shouky Shaheen Collection.
Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903) Pièce d’eau à Kew, Londres, 1892, oil on canvas, 18 1/8 x 21 5/8 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Doris and Shouky Shaheen Collection.

The Shaheens have a long history of philanthropic support for organizations across the Southeast and beyond. Their financial donations led to the creation of Piedmont Hospital’s Doris Shaheen Breast Health Center in 2004 and helped the hospital significantly expand its emergency room. As a birthday gift to her husband in 2007, Doris established the Shouky Shaheen Lecture series, which brings nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars to present lectures at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. The Shaheens have contributed to other institutions of higher learning, including the University of Memphis and Birzeit University. In addition to this major gift of artworks, the couple have contributed to the High as members since 1983 and as Friends of the Collection. The Shaheens are the founders of Shaheen & Co., which develops warehouse space throughout the metro area.

Camille Pissarro (French, 1830–1903), Paysanne assise, 1882, oil on canvas, 21 5/8 x 18 1/8 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Doris and Shouky Shaheen Collection.
Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796–1875), La bohemiènne à mandoline assise, (ca. 1860s–1870s), oil on panel, 25 x 17 inches. High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Doris and Shouky Shaheen Collection.

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