Atlanta residents since 1965, the Shaheens began to amass their remarkable collection in the early 1970s when they acquired Maurice de Vlaminck’s “Banlieue de Paris” (ca. 1922) from a local gallery. Over the past 50 years, the collection has grown to include paintings by some of the most recognized artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to the first works by Fantin-Latour, Matisse, Modigliani, Sisley, Maurice Utrillo and Vlaminck to enter the High’s collection, the gift includes paintings by Eugène Boudin, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Vuillard. The paintings’ subjects range from sweeping landscapes and village scenes to intimate portraits and figure studies.
In recognition of the gift, the High will establish the Doris and Shouky Shaheen Gallery in its Stent Family Wing, where the paintings will be on view starting later this year.
“It’s been a great blessing of our life together to build this collection and live with these incredible works,” said the Shaheens. “Given our love for this collection, and our love for this city, we knew the High was the best home for these paintings. We’re thrilled that Atlantans will enjoy them for generations to come.”
The Shaheens have a long history of philanthropic support for organizations across the Southeast and beyond that reflects their love for the arts and commitment to healthcare access and education. Their financial donations led to the creation of Piedmont Hospital’s Doris Shaheen Breast Health Center in 2004 and helped the hospital significantly expand its emergency room. As a birthday gift to her husband in 2007, Doris established the Shouky Shaheen Lecture series, which brings nationally and internationally recognized artists and scholars to present lectures at the University of Georgia’s Lamar Dodd School of Art. The Shaheens have contributed to other institutions of higher learning, including the University of Memphis and Birzeit University. In addition to this major gift of artworks, the couple have contributed generously to the High as members since 1983 and as Friends of the Collection. The Shaheens are the founders of Shaheen & Co., which develops warehouse space throughout the
“The Shaheens’ generous gift strengthens the High’s already significant holdings of impressionist and post-impressionist works to an extraordinary new level,” said Claudia Einecke, the High’s Frances B. Bunzl Family curator of European art. “In addition to making the Museum a must-see destination for visitors and scholars alike, the Shaheen collection now gives the High much greater depth of works by artists such as Monet, Pissarro and Sisley, providing deeper context for our overall collection and allowing our audiences to gain a fuller understanding and greater appreciation for these artists’ individual achievements.”