Michael Shapiro, the former Director of the High Museum of Art located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, officially stepped down from his 15 year tenure this past July. Shapiro’s time with the High spanned 20 years, beginning in 1995 first as Director of Museum Programs and Chief Curator and next as Deputy Director and Chief Curator. Within those roles, Shapiro spearheaded the Metro-Atlanta Partnership for the Visual Arts and Learning whose aim was to link visual and verbal literacy in public education curriculum. As Director, Shapiro’s leadership was marked by unprecedented growth. The museum’s Permanent Collection nearly doubled, several collaborative partnerships between the High and museums including New York’s MoMa and La Musée du Louvre brought international works to Atlanta for the first time, along with a 177,000 foot physical expansion designed by architect Renzo Piano.
Upon stepping down from his position and transitioning into retirement, The High Museum selected Rossin to honor his pivotal leadership. Above is Rossin’s oil-on-canvas 48’x48′ portrait Shapiro. Aside from the transformational director’s contemplative demeanor, Rossin includes part of the ceiling designed by Renzo Piano and a piece by artist Kelly Ellsworth for the expansion that began in 2005.