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Countdown to Savannah: Telfair Museum of Art

Written by teaberry

In early 2007, we started our official Countdown to Savannah. Each Sunday, we posted a different topic about this special city where we met for our first Great Slow Travel Gathering in Spring 2008.

With 63 posts over 14+ months, we learned a lot about the many facets of this historic, hospitable and intriguing American city. Our weekly posts touched on Savannah's history, famous people, architecture, food, culture, surrounding area and much more. We hope this information acquaints you with Savannah, entices you to visit this historic city, and prepares you for a very memorable trip.

The Oldest in the South

Attention art lovers! Savannah’s Telfair Museum of Art is considered a leading regional destination and national resource for the arts. In fact, it is the oldest art museum in the South! It is housed in three venues:

  1. The Telfair Mansion. Built in 1819 for Alexander Telfair, who was the son of a revolutionary war hero and Georgian governor, the mansion was home to the Telfair family until 1875, when Mary Telfair, who was a patron of the arts, bequeathed the mansion to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as an art museum. The museum opened in 1886.
  2. The Owens-Thomas House, also built in 1819, for a cotton merchant, was bequeathed to the Telfair Museum of Art in 1951. It is considered by architectural experts to be one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in America, and a National Historic Landmark.
  3. The Jepson Center for the Arts, construction completed in 2006, houses 20th and 21st century art, and traveling art exhibitions.

The museum houses in its entirety over 4500 pieces of art, including fine arts, decorative arts, and historic buildings. In the Telfair House, you can discover the permanent collection of fine arts, in addition to traveling art exhibitions. The Owens-Thomas House displays the decorative arts, a museum store, and also a rare intact urban slave quarters. The Jepson Center houses all major traveling exhibitions and latter day art, plus the primary museum store and the Telfair cafe.

The Museum also connects with the community of Savannah, by way of monthly lectures, educational tours, community outreach with local schools, and even an arty website that offers an interactive experience for children and adults alike.

Tours are offered daily, and more information about them can be found at this site.

The Museum’s shop offers books and posters, in addition to regional offerings by local craftspeople and artists. The Museum and its restrooms are disabled accessible.

Hours (Jepson Center and Telfair Academy)

Sunday: 12-5 pm
Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 10 am-5 pm
Tuesday: closed
Thursday: 10 am-8 pm

Hours (Owens-Thomas House)

Sunday: 1-5 pm
Monday: 12-5 pm
Tuesday-Saturday: 10 am-5 pm


Adults - $10
Seniors & AAA - $8
College students - $5
Children 5-12 - $4
Children under 5 – free


All About Savannah: Links to many information pages about Savannah (where to eat, where to stay, places of interest, getting around town, and more)

Woods Family Grand Tour of Europe: List of articles and photo albums by Kathy Wood

Author: teaberry is a nurse anesthetist who enjoys hiking, gardening, family, traveling, reading, playing piano, art, cooking, and anthropology - not necessarily in that order.

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