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“Loved Telfair”

Telfair Museums Telfair Academy
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Stroll with a Local through Savannah's Historic...
Ranked #49 of 225 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Designed by British architectural prodigy William Jay in the neoclassical Regency style, the Telfair Academy is a former mansion built in 1819 for Alexander Telfair, 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 renovation by German-born architect Detlef Lienau, whose adaptations 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.
Reviewed October 26, 2012

The current exhibits were beautiful and moving: Preston Russell's paintings and Mary Whyte's watercolors. The Telfair also has an excellent permanent collection.

Thank travalgal18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"jepson center"
in 69 reviews
"owens thomas house"
in 100 reviews
"art museum"
in 40 reviews
"bird girl statue"
in 33 reviews
"period rooms"
in 8 reviews
"american impressionists"
in 8 reviews
"museum pass"
in 8 reviews
"small collection"
in 6 reviews
"special exhibit"
in 8 reviews
"three locations"
in 6 reviews
"combination ticket"
in 8 reviews
"fine art"
in 6 reviews
"on display"
in 21 reviews
"william jay"
in 10 reviews
"nice museum"
in 12 reviews
"midnight in the garden"
in 29 reviews
"old mansion"
in 8 reviews

481 - 485 of 542 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2012

The Telfair Museum consists of three very differant venues. One very traditional and extraordinary art museum(The Telfair Academy)...one very contemporary art museum(The Jepson Center)...and a restored historic(Owens Thomas House) mansion with a very interesting story. We enjoyed all three.
We had a very nice lunch at the cafe in the Jepson Center. Though there was only one man serving the area, he was efficient and even had time to talk(mourn!) about the Red Sox's season!
My husband and I purchased the 3 venue pass for $18 and it was the best buy in Savannah! (The pass can be used over several days)

Thank Gail D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2012

The museum has an eclectic collection of paintings and sculptures. Since it is on the small side, the museum is not overwhelming. Presently there is the Mary Whyte water color exhibit. Her paintings are breathtaking. If you are planning a trip to Savannah, do go while her exhibit is on display.

1  Thank phyliss g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2012

If you're into art and architecture, I would definitely recommend checking out the Telfair Academy and the Owen-Thomas House. When my sister and I were in Savannah, the Jepson Center was closed for renovations. It’s possible to get a discounted ticket for the three sites or AAA discount so be sure to check the website for details or call ahead.

Telfair Academy opened in 1886 and was the first public art museum in the South. In the entrance hall, there is a Diocletian. In three of the large rooms, you will see friezes. In the entrance hall, there is a plaster copy of a frieze which once decorated the Parthenon in Greece. The meandering pattern or Greek key is a symbol for infinity and is used throughout the home. Ceiling medallions feature the acanthus plant (found in Greece). The dentil design was shown on the home’s molding. Loved the architecture.

The Owens-Thomas House was designed by William Jay for Richard Richardson, a cotton merchant, and his wife, Francis Bolton. Jay designed the house in the style of the English Regency era using Greek decoration. It took three years to build with the family finally moving into the house in 1819. The beautiful garden was once the place where the family’s horse-drawn carriages turned around. In addition to the main house, William Jay designed an outbuilding as a carriage house on one side and as living quarters for the slaves of the Richardson family on the other side. Between nine and fourteen slaves lived at the Owens-Thomas House at various times.

One feature of Regency architecture is symmetry. A house or room had to balance or look the same on both sides. Sometimes this meant adding a fake door or window to a room so that it would look “right.” If you visit the house, see if you can find all the 'fakes.' The plumbing system was outrageous, yet the most advanced for the time. The Owens-Thomas House was one of the earliest in the United States to have flushing toilets and a shower.

The locations are within about 6 blocks of each other so you can easily walk between them and enjoy a square or two.

Thank Rosanne112
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed August 19, 2012

Thoroughly enjoyed our walk through this historic house and art display. Although I didn't recognize the artists, the collection of paintings were my favorite and was delighted to find a Singer-Sargent on display. A great treat too to see the Bird Girl featured in the movie Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. The Kahlil Gibran collection seemed extensive.

Thank Tahllulah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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