The closing of the exhibition The Louvre and the Masterpiece last weekend marked the culmination of Louvre Atlanta, the High Museum
s unprecedented three-year partnership with the Musée du Louvre in Paris. During the course of the partnership, the High welcomed over 1.3 million visitors to the museum for seven exhibitions that brought a combined 493 treasures from the Louvres collection to Atlanta. Masterworks from all eight of the Louvre's curatorial departments have traveled to the High, including rare works by artists including Raphael, Titian, Vermeer, Rembrandt and Velázquez. The exhibitions attracted visitors from all 50 U.S. states, and nearly 140,000 students visited the exhibitions. Since Louvre Atlanta opened, the Highs membership has grown to more than 50,000 households, placing the museums membership in the top 10 among American art museums.
The High launched its historic partnership with the Musée du Louvre Museum in October 2006 to critical acclaim. The multi-exhibition partnership continued the Highs longstanding strategy of collaborating with international institutions to bring great art to Atlanta . Over the course of Louvre Atlanta, curators in Paris and Atlanta collaborated to present hundreds of works of art through a series of long-term thematic exhibitions exploring the range, depth, and historic development of the Louvres collections. Louvre Atlanta opened on October 2006, with the exhibitions Kings as Collectors, The Kings Drawings and Faces of History and Myth: Busts from the Musée du Louvre. In its second year, beginning October 2007, the exhibitions included The Louvre and the Ancient World, The Eye of Josephine, and Houdon at the Louvre: Masterworks from the Enlightenment. The final-year exhibition, The Louvre and the Masterpiece, which opened in October 2008, explored how the definition of a masterpiece, as well as taste and connoisseurship, has evolved over time. A portion of the exhibitions from the first and second years traveled to the Denver Art Museum , and "The Louvre and the Masterpiece" will now travel to the Minneapolis Institute of Art.