Telfair Museums : art + history + architecture
Telfair Museums, founded in 1883 through the bequest of prominent Savannah philanthropist Mary Telfair, is the first public art museum in the South. Located in the heart of the city’s vibrant historic district, it encompasses three architecturally significant buildings: the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House– both are National Historic Landmark buildings— and the contemporary Jepson Center.
The Telfair Academy, a former family mansion designed by English architect William Jay and adapted to an art gallery in the 1880s, houses 19th- and 20th-century American and European art. The Owens-Thomas House, also designed by William Jay, is considered one of the finest examples of English Regency architecture in the country. In addition to a historic house-museum featuring decorative art ranging from the late 18th to the early 19th century, the site includes rare intact urban slave quarters and an elegant parterre garden. Rounding out the Telfair’s trio of landmark buildings, the Jepson Center—designed by the internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie—is devoted to the art of today.
121 Barnard St.