Located in the heart of Savannah’s historic district, the Telfair Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the Southeast and is a testimony to the city’s appreciation for art, both old and new. Since its opening in the 1800’s, the museum has grown into three significant buildings that feature approximately 4,000 works of art and host a variety of exhibitions and programs throughout the year. Just steps from the Presidents’ Quarters Inn, a visit to the Telfair Museums is a must on your next trip to Savannah! Here are some of our favorite things to see.
What You’ll Find at the Telfair Museums
1. Telfair Academy
The Telfair Academy is situated in a historic 1818 mansion that was the former home of Alexander Telfair, son of Georgia governor Edward Telfair. In 1875, Alexander’s sister Mary left the house and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society, and it eventually opened as a public museum. Today, the Telfair Academy contains two nineteenth-century period rooms and houses 19th and 20th-century American and European art including paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, and more.
2. The Jepson Center
Featuring over 7,500 square feet of gallery space for rotating exhibitions and contemporary art, the Jepson Center is a breathtaking building that was designed by Moshie Safdie. Guests can explore the 220-seat auditorium, community gallery, educational studios, and even an interactive children’s museum called ArtZeum. The Jepson Center hours are 12 to 5 PM Sunday and Monday and 10 AM to 5 PM Tuesday through Saturday.
3. Owens-Thomas House
Completing the Telfair Museums trio is the spectacular Owens-Thomas House, one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in the country. The house was designed by English architect William Jay around 1816 and was later purchased by George Welshman Owens, the mayor of Savannah. The house remained in the Owens family until it was gifted to the Telfair Museum of Art in 1951. Now a National Historic Landmark, guests can enjoy daily tours of the home, gardens, carriage house, and slave quarters and admire a collection of Owens family furnishings and historic objects.
Events at the Telfair Museums
Telfair Masquerade: Each October, the Telfair Academy hosts Masquerade in the Mansion, an exciting black-tie cocktail party for those who are 21 and up. The event features live entertainment, fire dancers, and music, as well as scrumptious late-night treats and libations. Don’t forget to bring your mask!
Museum Family Day: If you’re traveling with the kids, don’t miss the Telfair Museums monthly family days! Hosted one Saturday of each month, adults and children alike can enjoy hands-on projects, tours, stories, and much more – and it’s all free! For these and other upcoming programs, check out the Telfair Museums events schedule.
Book Your Stay at the Presidents’ Quarters Inn!
When searching for the perfect homestead in Savannah, look no further than our historic bed and breakfast! Originally constructed in 1855, our inn’s comfortable rooms and suites feature antique furnishings as well as modern amenities and provide a quiet, comfortable atmosphere after a fun-filled day. We can’t wait to hear about what you discover at the Telfair Museums!
For more information on attractions in Savannah, download our free vacation guide.