Telfair Academy, Savannah

Telfair Academy, Savannah (must see)

One of three sites operated by Telfair Museums (along with the Owens-Thomas House and the new modern-art focused Jepson Center; a ticket provides admission to all three sites), the Telfair Academy contains two 19th-century period rooms and houses 19th- and 20th-century American and European art from the Telfair Museum's permanent collection, including paintings, works on paper, sculptures and decorative arts. Among the ongoing exhibits is "Mansion to Museum", which highlights the incredible story of the transformation of the site from a home to an Academy of Arts and Sciences, but the most famous attraction is the Bird Girl statue (relocated here from Bonaventure Cemetery) which was made famous by the John Berendt novel, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil".

The neoclassical Regency-style mansion was built in the late 1810s and is the former home of Alexander Telfair, the son of Revolutionary War patriot and Georgia governor Edward Telfair. In 1875, Alexander's sister Mary, heir to the family fortune and last to bear the Telfair name, bequeathed the house and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum. After significant renovations, which included the addition of the Sculpture Gallery and the Rotunda, the building opened to the public in 1886 as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Why You Should Visit:
A great introduction to Savannah by way of city scenes that depict life from the early 20th century (many of which were signed by local artists), complemented by a broader selection of American impressionism, American portraiture, and the Ashcan school. Additional exhibits focus on decorative arts and rooms with period furniture.

Tip:
Don't miss the impressive room upstairs, especially for the art pieces on display, including paintings you'd otherwise only find in Chicago or New York due to size.

Opening Hours:
Sun, Mon: 12–5pm; Tue-Sat: 10am–5pm

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Savannah. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Telfair Academy on Map

Sight Name: Telfair Academy
Sight Location: Savannah, USA (See walking tours in Savannah)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

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