This is one of Savannah's most beautiful and distinctive buildings. Completed in 1819 for Alexander Telfair, son of a Revolutionary War hero, it was designed by English architect William Jay in the neoclassical Regency style. It remained in the Telfair family until 1875.
In 1886, it was opened to the public as an art museum and school, following a period of expansion.
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 encompasses the very modern Jepson Center (opened in 2006) and also oversees the Owens-Thomas House.
Founded in 1886, the Telfair family started this as an art school and museum. It thrived and expanded over the years. It now has mostly 20th-21st century art, but also own Owens Thomas house and built Jepson Center to hold art in 64,000 SF of space. The exhibits change over time.
When I was here a couple years ago, the Telfair was in a smaller but very ornate building. This year, it's in a different place. A completely new and modern looking building, it does provide a contrast to the typically old and traditionally southern architecture. There are many things to see here--traveling exhibits, 18th and 19th century art, local pieces and so on. The older museum is still there and still just as pretty
The museum itself is small. The main attraction is the Bird Girl, the famous statue made famous by the movie "Midnight in the Garden of the Good and Evil". I was surprised by its black colour : the pictures I had seen show it lighter. There was a permanent guard in the room to enforce the banning of photographes which is in force in all the museum.
The statue was put there when its owner discovered a couple picknicking near the statue in Bonaventure Cemetery.
There were some paintings generally made by few known artists. Nethertheless, I have been impressed by a large frame of the late 19e, showing the Black Prince after the Battle of Crecy discovering the body of the King John of Luxemburg.
Parking : street parking with meters
Price : 6$
Beside, there is a new building for temporary exibits.
The oldest public art museum in the South, the Telfair Museum of Art is an important regional and national resource of the arts, cullture and history. The Telfair Museum
includes the the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Owens Thomas House.
The Museum's permament collection includes paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Temporary exhibits throughout the year and feature a wide variety of madia and styles.
Built in 1818-1819 the mansion was built for the Telfair family who eventually bequeathed their possessions to the Georgia Historical Society. It was to be opened as a museum.
The mansion was enlarged in 1883 to include the Sculpture Gallery and the Rotunda. Confederate ex-President Jefferson Davis attended the formal opening in 1886.