Nearly every Atlantan can identify the white High Museum of Art building on Peachtree Street in Midtown. However, few know the generosity and story behind the famous art museum’s origins. A widow, Harriet High, whose husband Joseph was the founder of Atlanta department store J.M. High Co., donated her 18-room Tudor-style mansion on Peachtree Street near 15th Street in 1926 to house the city’s first art collection. She informed the Atlanta Art Association, founded in 1905, of the gift with the only stipulation that it be called the High Museum of Art. This home housed the art collection until 1955. The High family also owned a country estate, built in 1936, at 4315 Garmon Road in Buckhead. The High family visited this retreat to enjoy carefree weekend gatherings where they could fish, hunt, and dine. Now Garmon Road is a street of luxury homes with impressive acreage. The property that housed the High’s estate is the location of a newly constructed dream home that is the fourth annual Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Southeastern Designer Showhouse and Gardens and is listed by Travis Reed & Associates of sponsor Harry Norman, Realtors. The showhouse benefits the Atlanta History Center and is open through June 2. Tickets are $33 online or $35 at the door. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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