“As longstanding supporters of the High, the Steins were instrumental in the growth of our distinguished European art collection,” said High director, Rand Suffolk in a statement. “We are incredibly grateful for their generosity and honored to steward the care and presentation of these artworks for future generations.”
The bulk of this latest gift reflects the significant private collection the Steins have of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. In a review of the High’s 2011 “Toulouse-Lautrec & Friends” show, former Atlanta Journal-Constitution art critic Catherine Fox said that by being the first to add bold images to posters when most businesses were only using text, he transformed the genre.
“Toulouse-Lautrec instinctively understood the basics of advertising—grab the viewer immediately and communicate in a flash—and he made an art of them,” Fox wrote.
The posters significantly expand the High’s existing collection of Toulouse-Lautrec’s work. And the addition of prints by Degas, Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard and Paul Signac, further bolsters the museum’s European holdings. It could be some time, however, before any of the works in this latest gift are included in an exhibition.