Savannah is home to the oldest museum in the South, and one of the oldest public museums in the entire country: the Telfair Museums. Note the “s” at the end of the name. That’s because there are actually three museums in one, all in the historic district and within walking distance of one another – and, by visiting them, you’ll get to see art, architecture and history. Here are the three museums:
- Jepson Center, which contains “original works of art by contemporary masters,” was designed by Moshe Safdie and opened in 2006. Its 7,500-square feet of gallery space includes both permanent collections and major traveling exhibits. There is a 220-seat auditorium and ArtZeum, a 3,500-square-foot interactive gallery for children and families. One of the more famous exhibits: the original Bird Girl statue, which appeared on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
- Owens-Thomas House, which is considered one of the “finest examples of English Regency architecture in America,” was designed by William Jay and built from 1816-1819. Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette was a guest here in 1825 and is thought to have addressed a crowd from the cast-iron veranda. This National Historic Landmark is now an historic house museum, and includes a “beautiful English-inspired parterre garden and an original carriage house – which contains one of the earliest intact urban slave quarters in the South.” Note that this building is closed from January 4-8, 2016.
- Telfair Academy, designed in the neoclassical Regency style, this is a former mansion built in 1818-1819. A sculpture gallery and rotunda have since been added and the building was opened as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1886. It houses 19th– and 20th-century American and European art.
The Monet and American Impressionism! exhibit can be viewed through January 24th, with an intensive guided tour held on January 8.
Here a video of what you can see when you visit the Telfair Museums:
And, if you’re visiting Savannah on January 5, 2016, sign up for the First Tuesday City Hall Tour, where you will enjoy a look at the historic city hall. The tours are free but space is limited, so sign up now.
Savannah Architecture Tour at Cool Savannah
See the architecture of Savannah on a guided tour, led by a certified tour guide and an accredited architect. Savannah was designed nearly 300 years ago, and so its historic architecture is a delight for the eyes! Hear how original settlers, Civil War soldiers, Victorians and others lived, and how they enjoyed Savannah’s beauty and grace.
Savannah’s historic district is one of the largest in the United States. Literally thousands of architecturally significant buildings exist within city limits, ranging from Federal and Victorian Regency styles to Greek, Gothic Revival and Italianate architecture.
Book your Savannah architecture tour online now (at least 24 hours in advance, please!) or call us at 912-231-3571. Private tours of these Savannah attractions are also available for groups. Cool Savannah is located in the heart of the historic district, next to the Cotton Exchange at 42 E. Bay Street. Enjoy one of Savannah’s coolest tours! And also feel free to contact us if you need help planning your stay. We’ve got lots to recommend!