City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Gudmund Vigtel, former High Museum director, dies at 87

By Howard Pousner

Gudmund Vigtel, the High Museum of Art’s leader from 1963 to 1991, died Saturday at age 87.

Vigtel placed the building blocks that helped support the High’s emergence as a respected art showplace and as an exhibiting partner of esteemed national and international institutions such as the  Museum of Modern Art and the Louvre.

New on the job, he helped open the High’s home in the Memorial Arts Center, built in honor of the more than 100 Atlantans who perished in an airplane accident at Orly field in France in 1962. And he led the charge to construct, in 1983, the Richard Meier-designed Peachtree Street landmark pitched as “a museum big enough for Atlanta.”  

He remained a comrade to current High Museum director Michael Shapiro, meeting him regularly, until Vigtel’s health faltered, for lunch, art talk and free advice.

Read an obituary by long-time AJC art critic Catherine Fox, who covered Vigtel and High starting in 1981, at The AJC’s obituary will be published in Thursday print editions and online at late Wednesday afternoon.

7 comments Add your comment


October 23rd, 2012
9:44 am

It is amazing how we seem to “stand tall on the shoulders of others”! May we as we age and progress, have the same said of ourselves someday.


October 23rd, 2012
10:30 am

I am a native and a High Member…and have never heard his name.


October 23rd, 2012
10:34 am

A very good man.


October 23rd, 2012
10:35 am

What an amazing legacy.


October 23rd, 2012
11:53 am

Remember him taking time to talk to a group of 5th graders on a field trip over 20yrs ago. I know b/c I was one of them. Great man.


October 23rd, 2012
2:21 pm

A good man. He will be missed by all who knew him. My prayers are with his family at this time.

Jack Miller

October 24th, 2012
11:21 pm

Gudmund Vigtel was a marvelous person, and
a great Director of the High Museum. The seven years I worked for him there were always rewarding and a genuine pleasure.