Want to experience iconic Southern art, history and architecture with a uniquely Savannah spin? Visit three distinctive Telfair Museums sites — the Jepson Center, Telfair Academy and Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters — to experience three centuries of art and culture.
JEPSON CENTER – 207 W. York Street
The Jepson Center, overlooking Telfair Square, is the newest museum in the Telfair family and among the most recently opened museums in the South. It houses the famous Bird Girl statue, immortalized on the cover of John Berendt’s bestseller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, as well as a collection of some of Georgia’s best contemporary art.
TELFAIR ACADEMY – 121 Barnard Street
After experiencing these creative wonders, head across the square to explore the Telfair Academy. The building is the oldest public art museum in the South, and it opened its doors in 1886. Located in the heart of Savannah’s National Landmark Historic District, the Academy houses an indoor sculpture gallery and elegant rotunda. This neoclassical Regency-style museum was once the family home of Telfair Museums’ founder Mary Telfair.
The Telfair Academy, which was recently restored to its original splendor with vibrant coats of historically appropriate yellow mineral paint, showcases fine art and decorative art in a range of styles, from American Impressionism to Ashcan School Realism. Don’t miss stylish 19th-century period rooms, as well as impressive works from the museum’s permanent collection.
OWENS-THOMAS HOUSE AND SLAVE QUARTERS – 124 Abercorn Street
For a broader view of Savannah’s history, tour the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters, the city’s first house museum. Originally built for wealthy planter and politician Richard Richardson by architect William Jay, the Owens-Thomas House is often identified as the crown jewel of English Regency architecture in America and once entertained international figures like the Marquis de Lafayette. This historic home has also earned accolades for its innovative design, which incorporated indoor plumbing ahead of the White House. Don’t miss the formal parterre garden, which features stunning topiaries year-round.
The Owens-Thomas House also includes the only intact urban slave quarters open to the public in Savannah. Guided tours of the Owens-Thomas House share the stories of everyone who lived there, from the enslaved people who worked in the house to those who owned the home.
All Museums sites are open from noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Monday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets offer one week of access to three authentic Savannah experiences for one admission price. For more information, call 912.790.8800 or visit telfair.org.