Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Elton's High Art

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Elton's High Art

Article excerpt

World-class shopper Elton John displays the cream of his legendary photo collection at Atlanta's High Museum of Art

"It's really a very different collection," says Thomas Southall, curator of photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where Elton John's diverse and legendary collection is now on display. "It's not trying to emphasize any art historical themes or drive a political message home. It's about how one creative artist is inspired by other creative artists, about the pleasure Elton has found in the art of photography."

The collection boasts 2,500 photos, from some of the 20th century's most famous works to pictures that simply struck Sir Elton's fancy. The High exhibit comprises nearly 400 of those photos--the largest such exhibition the museum has ever mounted. "We tried to be as representative to the depth and quality of the collection as possible," says Southall of the difficult selection process. "We tried to make it manageable."

John is known for his close connection with the works he purchases, relying on his own responses more than any predetermined criteria. After all, he lives with the works he buys, covering the walls of his homes with what he considers beautiful. "Compared to most celebrity collections, it's a very personal involvement," remarks Southall. …

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