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Gudmund Vigtel papers

Collection number: ahc.MSS872f

Scope and Content

The collection contains articles and newspaper clippings regarding Gudmund Vigtel's tenure as the director of the High Museum of Art. Also included in the collection are memoranda and articles written by Vigtel about art museums. Of particular note is his commencement speech for the graduating class of the Atlanta School of Art when he received his honorary degree.


  • 1965-2008, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. All requests to publish, quote, or reproduce must be submitted through the Kenan Research Center.

Administrative/Biographical History

Gudmund Vigtel (1925-2012) was born in Jerusalem, Israel, to Arne Jonson Vigtel and Elisabeth Petri. In 1944, he joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force and served in Canada, guarding German POWs. After World War II, Vigtel left the military and enrolled in the High Museum School of Art. In 1948, he received a scholarship to the School of Art at the University of Georgia, where he studied under Lamar Dodd (1909-1996) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1952 and Masters in Fine Arts in 1953. In 1951, Vigtel married Solveig Lund (1927-) and they had one daughter, Elisabeth (1955-), before divorcing in 1964. In 1963, Vigtel became the director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. The next year, he married Carolyn Gates Smith (1937-) and they had one daughter, Catherine (1966-). Vigtel served as the director of the High Museum of Art for 28 years; during his tenure the High's permanent collection tripled. Vigtel also oversaw the museum's expansion into the Stent Family Wing, designed by Richard Meier (1934-), in 1983. In 1991, Vigtel was given an honorary doctorate in Fine Arts from the Atlanta College of Art.


2 folder(s)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1993

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2019.

Gudmund Vigtel papers
Allison Maier
May 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305