In her 1878 book, “Molly Bawn,” American author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford is credited with coining the term “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” meaning beauty is subjective.

If that phrase can be said of all types or artistic creations, from paintings, drawings, sculptures and other artistic works, can the same hold true for fashion?

Leaders of the High Museum of Art in Midtown said they think so as its exhibition, “Virgil Abloh: Figures of Speech,” proves that fashion is, indeed an art form. It’s coming to the museum Nov. 12 through March 8.

According to a news release, this is the High’s inaugural event of this type. It’s also the museum’s first exhibition devoted to Abloh, the modern, genre-bending artist and fashion designer who became the creative director of famed clothing designer Louis Vuitton’s menswear line in 2018.

Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where it debuted in June, the exhibition focuses on Abloh’s creative process, collaborative work and pioneering discipline. It ranges across media and connects visual artists, musicians, graphic designers, fashion designers and architects, the release stated.

The works on view offers an in-depth look at the defining highlights of Abloh’s career, including his recent designs for Vuitton’s menswear collection, video documentation of his most iconic fashion shows and his distinctive furniture and graphic design work.

Calling him an inspiring, creative force who defies often traditional classifications and boundaries, High Director Rand Suffolk said in the release that when the opportunity came to present Abloh’s work, “we could not say no.”

“Atlanta’s cultural community personifies style, trend-setting and pushing the limits of traditional design,” Suffolk said. “We know Abloh’s work will resonate with our audience, just as it has been celebrated worldwide.”

The son of parents who emigrated from Ghana, Abloh was raised in the Chicago suburb of Rockford. He trained in engineering and architecture and, from an early age, refined an interest in music, fashion and design.

“Abloh’s designs reflect his keen perceptiveness of the world around him and his appreciation for and understanding of the pulse of popular culture in various media,” Kevin Tucker, the High’s chief curator, said in the release. “He is able to quickly distill these wide-ranging influences into his own distinctive approach, which is a testament to his abilities and fuels the international appeal of his work.”

The exhibition is included with the museum’s admission, which is $14.50 for nonmembers and free for members. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


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