United States

121 Barnard St.


Telfair Museum Of Art

The Telfair Museum of Art traces its history from 1886 when the Telfair family home opened to the public as an art museum and school. It now boasts three diverse sites -- the original building, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, a National Historic Landmark building; the Owens-Thomas House, also a National Historic Landmark; and the recently completed Jepson Center for the Arts, a contemporary building which houses 20th- and 21st-century art.

Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie, the 64,000-sq. ft. Jepson Center for the Arts is a state-of-the-art museum facility. It features expanded gallery spaces, expanded educational resources, much-needed art storage facilities, sculpture gardens, an auditorium, café and museum store.

Over the years the Telfair has become an invaluable confluence of arts, culture and history that reaches out to its audience through a diverse schedule of exhibitions and programs. Among the city's most-visited attractions, the museum has become even more popular with the opening of its third venue, the Jepson Center for the Arts.

Permanent Collection

The Telfair's permanent collection of paintings, works on paper, photography, sculpture, and decorative arts contains over 4,500 objects from America, Europe, and Asia, dating primarily from the 18th-20th centuries.

Highlights include impressive examples of American Impressionism, with major paintings by Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke, and Gari Melchers. Ashcan School paintings filled with strong colors and bravura brush strokes are superbly represented at the Telfair with works by Robert Henri, George Bellows and George Luks. The collection also includes several works by European expatriate Julian Story. His monumental painting Black Prince of Crécy (pictured, upper left), which depicts a pivotal 14th-century battle, is a favorite with Telfair visitors.

The Telfair boasts the largest public collection of visual art by Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran, best known as author of The Prophet, in North America. The museum has over 80 art works, including both paintings and drawings, by the popular literary figure.

The Telfair's sculpture collection is complemented by the long-term loan of Sylvia Shaw Judson's Bird Girl, known for its appearance on the dust jacket of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

Recent acquisitions include important works by respected 20th century artists Gari Melchers, Romare Bearden, Helen Levitt, and Max Bill.


The Telfair offers eight to 14 temporary exhibitions annually, typically opening two new exhibitions every eight to 12 weeks, and the museum generally organizes at least half of the exhibitions it presents each year.

Beyond Whistler:
Modern and Contemporary Prints from the Telfair’s Collection
February 13 – August 5, 2007 I Telfair Academy

Telling Tales: Works by Nancy Hooten
January 24 – July 8, 2007 I Jepson Center for the Arts

A Consuming Vision:
Selections from the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
March 15 - June 10, 2007, Jepson Center for the Arts

Previous Exhibitions

African American Art from the Permanent Collection
January 30 – March 4, 2007 I Jepson Center for the Arts

Kirk Varnedoe Collection
December 13, 2006 - February 18, 2007 I Jepson Center

Exhibitions (2)

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Forthcoming exhibitions

2007 Asian Festival Programs
In conjunction with the Savannah Asian Festival
June 13-17, 2007 I Jepson Center for the Arts

June 13-17 I Pang-Chieh Hsu Artist Residency/Origami Installation


Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors & AAA: $8
College students: $5
Children 5-12: $4
Children under 5: Free

Opening hours

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

Getting there

From I-95: Exit at I-16 East into the Historic District. I-16 will turn into Montgomery Street. Turn Right on to Oglethorpe Avenue from Montgomery Street. From there see directions at right.

In addition to utilizing available street parking in the vicinity, visitors to the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Jepson Center for the Arts may park in the Robinson Garage, located directly behind the Telfair Academy on Jefferson Street.


The Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences, the Owens-Thomas Carriage House and public restrooms are disabled accessible.

Parking and Accessible Entrance to the Telfair Academy:
The wheelchair entrance is located on the south side of the building on President Street. There are accessible parking spaces immediately outside the wheelchair entrance on President Street and also in Robinson parking garage, located directly behind the museum on Jefferson Street .

Parking and Accessible Entrance to Owens-Thomas Carriage House:
The Owens-Thomas Carriage House, entered from President Street, is wheelchair accessible. Accessible parking spaces are available outside the entrance on President Street.

The primary museum shop location for the Telfair Museum of Art is in the Jepson Center for the Arts. Other sites include the carriage house at the Owens-Thomas House and the Telfair Academy lobby, where a limited selection of merchandise is available. The Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Owens-Thomas House are historic homes designed by English architect William Jay in the early 1800s. The merchandise in the museum shops reflects this architectural heritage as well as the gracious lifestyle of the former inhabitants. In keeping with the innovative architecture of the Jepson Center for the Arts, designed by Moshe Safdie, the store at that site features more contemporary merchandise. Click here for store locations and contact information.

It is also part of the shops' mission to reflect the region, the natural habitat, the artists and craftspeople of the area, and the rich cultural arts programs offered by the Telfair Museum through permanent and traveling exhibitions...+ [ Read all ]

Museum internal and external photos (4)

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The Telfair has a long and distinguished history of providing outstanding arts education programs to its community, including lectures, workshops, family days, school tours, outreach programs for youths and audiences with disabilities.

Education has always been at the center of the Telfair's mission. It's our principle means of community outreach and interaction. A vital art educational resource, the Telfair is the only art institution in Savannah to offer "visual literacy" tours, which encourage critical thinking and group discussion. Thousands of elementary through high school students participate in these tours annually. The museum creates curriculum-based teacher materials to help instructors prepare for field trips, and offers resources including a free video and cd-rom lending library.

Telfair offers programs throughout the Savannah area for youths including Afternoon Art Clubs at urban neighborhood centers, offered throughout the school year, and summer outreach to area parks and playgrounds. The museum works with local agencies to offer outreach and tour programs for persons with disabilities, such as the museum’s touch tours for the visually impaired.

Adults are served through lectures by nationally and internationally prominent artists and scholars, a lunchtime lecture and film series, occasional workshops and daily docent-led tours.

Although the Telfair provides an exhaustive selection of educational activities, programs and other offerings at present, it is looking to the future as well. The museum's new Jepson Center for the Arts, now under construction, will feature state-of-the-art education galleries. One of the focal points of the new buildi...+ [ Read all ]