Mar 8, 2024 - Things to Do

John Wieland's contemporary art collection opens for Atlanta

A blue translucent fabric art work of a detailed entranceway is prominently displayed in the center of a white wall art gallery

Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

The man who literally built much of modern metro Atlanta is opening the doors to his museum-sized collection of contemporary art.

Why it matters: The Warehouse, residential developer John Wieland's 39,000-square-foot private collection in West Midtown, will open to the public for free (with a reservation) one day a month starting on April 13.

  • Wieland thinks it could be Atlanta's largest collection of museum-quality contemporary works other than The High.

Zoom in: More than 400 paintings, sculptures, installations and other works by Ed Ruscha, Howard Finster, Cindy Sherman, Roy Lichtenstein and roughly 250 contemporary artists will soon be available for viewing at the nondescript Chattahoochee Avenue warehouse.

  • Every work relates the theme of house, home and domesticity. For example, the fabric artist Do Ho Suh's translucent recreation of his old apartment's entrance way or self-taught folk artist Ferdinand Cooper's self-built shack where he lived for almost 50 years.

What they're saying: "Home is so much more than sticks and bricks," Wieland, who built more than 30,000 homes across the Southeast over a 51-year career, told Axios on a recent tour of the space.

  • "It's an envelope in which people are going to live their lives, raise their families, hopefully meet their aspirations and all the things we go through. Tough things, good things."

Catch up quick: In the 1980s, the developer and wife Sue, who died in 2021, began collecting contemporary art for John Wieland Homes' new College Park headquarters. Wieland and the collection became familiar among galleries and auction houses.

  • In 2010, the couple purchased a former furniture warehouse in northwest Atlanta to house the collection.
  • Over the past few years, Wieland and his son Jack, the curator of the Warehouse's reinstallation, converted the space to galleries to prepare for public viewing.

What's next: The Warehouse will open reservation slots on March 13 for its first public gallery day.

If you go: Docents will be on hand to help educate guests.

The big picture: "Art's about expanding your horizons," said Wieland, whose love of art dates back to childhood days exploring museums in his native Cleveland. "It expands your life."

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