Devoted to the art of today, the contemporary Jepson Center links Telfair’s future with its past, unifying the museum’s three distinct sites.
The building, designed by Moshe Safdie and opened to the public in 2006, features over 7,500 square feet of gallery space for major traveling exhibitions of contemporary art and installations of works from the permanent collection. Educational programming takes place in the 220-seat auditorium, community gallery, education studios, and ArtZeum-a unique, 3,500-square foot interactive gallery for children and families.
The Jepson Center is home to the Telfair’s Kirk Varnedoe Collection, a cornerstone of the museum’s contemporary holdings. Assembled in honor of the late Savannah native, scholar, and MoMA curator Kirk Varnedoe, the collection features works on paper by some of the most pivotal artists of the past fifty years, including Jasper Johns, Chuck Close, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Stella, and Richard Avedon. The museum’s diverse contemporary collection also features important works by William Christenberry, Helen Levitt, Sam Gilliam, James Brooks, and many notable Georgia artists. The Jepson is also home to the original iconic Bird Girl statue, made famous in the Jack Leigh photograph on the cover of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.