Last week, I had the opportunity to visit the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, which is currently hosting an exhibition of Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis. Of course, the artwork is spectacular, but the museum itself was also inspiring in its creative display and marketing strategies.
The drama begins the moment a visitor steps foot into the exhibition, with walls that throw the majesty of the paintings into high relief. Each painting is spaced so that the eye can take in every detail of each work individually. Two different audio tours are available – one for adults and one for children – and both add information and heighten expectations, effectively enhancing the viewing experience.
While the artwork was treated with the utmost reverence, there was a certain playfulness to the museum’s marketing strategy. A display at the end of the exhibit, near the gift shop, allowed visitors to insert their own faces into the Girl with a Pearl Earring painting and take photos, creating a fun atmosphere.
The museum also took full advantage of the chance to promote its upcoming exhibit, The Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Garden, by placing a rather breathtaking backlit print of one of the paintings inside of the elevator so that when the elevator doors open, visitors are greeted with a beautiful background, including the name and date of the exhibit.
The High Museum’s marketing strategies are almost creative enough to rival the iconic artwork on its walls.