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Savannah Attractions: Add this Permanent Exhibit to Your Must-See List

Historic Savannah: Telfair Museum

Starting on June 25, when you visit the Telfair Museums, you can enjoy an incredible collection of American portraiture, titled Face to Face, with paintings from the American Revolution to World War II. The museum has acquired the painting titled James Wright (1716-1785), the only known portrait of Wright, who served as Georgia’s third and final royal governor. Another portrait, of George Johnson Baldwin by Gari Melchers, was donated by a descendant of Baldwin, who served on the Telfair board during its early decades.

Here are three more of the talented artists whose work will appear in this permanent exhibit.

Jeremiah Theus

Born on April 5, 1716, Theus immigrated to the colonies, where he settled in and worked in the Charleston, South Carolina area. In this time and place, there were few portrait painters, so Theus captured what few others did. In 1740, he placed the following advertisement: “all Gentlemen and Ladies may have their Pictures drawn, likewise Landskips (sic) of all Sizes, Crests, and Coats of Arms for Coaches or Chaises. Likewise for the Conveniency (sic) of those who live in the Country, he is willing to wait on them at their respective Plantations.”

His paintings appear in prestigious museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institute – and now in the Telfair Museums.

Rembrandt Peale

Rembrandt Peale

Perhaps best known for his portrait of Thomas Jefferson, Peale was born in Pennsylvania on February 22, 1778, the year that France joined the colonies in their fight for independence. His father was considered to be Philadelphia’s premier painter of portraits and his brother became known for his still-life paintings. Peale studied art in London with Benjamin West and he also worked in Paris, where he was offered the position of Napoleon’s court painter.

He opened the Baltimore Museum in 1814, where he displayed his work and painted portraits. This museum is known as the Peale Museum today. Peale died on October 3, 1860, on the brink of yet another massive war: the American Civil War.

Henry Benbridge

Born in October 1743 in Philadelphia, Benbridge studied in Italy and had his work displayed in London, where he was encouraged by Benjamin West. He belonged to the American Philosophical Society founded by Benjamin Franklin and may be best known for his large, six-figure portrait of the Gordon family. When he moved to Charleston, South Carolina, he succeeded Theus as the region’s favorite portrait painter. He died in February 1812, shortly before the breakout of the War of 1812.

Tickets for Things to Do In Savannah

Historic Savannah: Owens House

You can now get your tickets for the Telfair Museums right here at Cool Savannah Tours & Gifts, at the same place you get tickets for our Savannah sightseeing tours (walking, carriage or trolley, private or public). We make it easy and convenient for you to schedule your sightseeing plans in historic Savannah.

The Telfair 3-site pass is good for the Jepson Center, the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House, and is valid for one week from time of purchase. Tickets are currently available for purchase at our store and will soon be available for purchase online.

We look forward to seeing you!

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