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2023 Year in Review


Telfair for All!

Driven by the six pillars of the 2023-28 strategic plan: excellence, experience, community, third place, engagement, and destination, the Telfair Museums team introduced new programs, initiatives, and the brand new Telfair Children’s Art Museum.

With great ambition and a heroic effort from the staff and board of trustees, we were able to engage the local community and visitors from afar through exhibitions, outreach, and events.



In 2022, Telfair Museums partnered with FREN, a renowned design firm based in the Savannah area, to expand and transform the Jepson Center’s children’s wing (previously known as ArtZeum) into a space that ignites creativity and enriches the lives of children of all ages. The partnership led to the development of the Telfair Children’s Art Museum (CAM.)

Inspired by several impressionist works in the permanent collection, Telfair introduced CAM with a grand opening on July 6th. Over 500 members attended the invitation-only celebration, and over 23,000 families have visited.

As technology continues to evolve and influence how museum-goers experience art, Telfair is on the cutting edge of new practices and design in partnership with FREN.

CAM would not be possible without the generosity and dedication of the museum’s development team, Telfair’s Board of Trustees, corporate sponsors, individual donors, and the immense support of philanthropists Jackie Rabinowitz and Cynthia Willett. Their generous support contributed over $2 million before the grand opening.


2023 was an exciting year in our Education and Outreach programming. We piloted a Pre-K/Headstart program with support from the PNC Foundation, welcoming 600 Pre-K students to the museum. Expanding on Telfair’s century-long partnership with Savannah Chatham County Public Schools (SCCPS), this program enriches our youngest patrons with arts and culture.

In this year’s presentation of Making Marks, an exhibition presented to highlight the works produced in over 2,000 annual outreach programs, Telfair showcased the collection of works from individuals in veterans’ groups, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, incarcerated individuals, the city’s Therapeutics Department, and the Department of Exceptional Children.


Visitor Experience and Engagement

Improving the experience of our visitors is a crucial objective in the strategic plan. In 2023, Telfair introduced the Visitor Experience & Engagement department to build connections and support visitors at the Jepson Center. This energetic and highly trained team offers concierge-level service for guests, offers daily tours, contributes digital content, and promotes membership benefits in the museum’s galleries.

Operations & Attendance

With the addition of CAM, we welcomed new families, which continues to diversify our general audience. In 2023, Telfair welcomed over 230,000 guests. The museums’ educational programs served over 8,000 students, and our Free Family Days attendance reached over 8,500.

Our mission to serve the Savannah community is paramount. We provided almost 300 community outreach sessions, servicing over 2,000 people of all ages and abilities. Our outreach expanded to 48 community partners and locations throughout Savannah.

Marketing & Communications

In 2023, Telfair’s marketing and communications efforts contributed to double the mentions on social media, print and digital publications, reviews, and website traffic. Media outlets such as Forbes and Condé Nast Traveller recognize Telfair as a must-see destination in Savannah. Since 2022, Telfair’s reach has exceeded 1 trillion impressions (opportunities to see) and continues to grow.






Telfair presented exhibitions featuring various mediums and interests to expand our horizons and reach new audiences. In the spring, Photography’s Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection and Bold Expressions: The Collection of Lorlee and Arnold Tenenbaum were presented in the spring. These exhibitions complimented each other by celebrating the Tenenbaum family’s legacy of supporting the arts and showcasing their collection of works by internationally acclaimed artists.

In the Summer, The Age of Armor: Treasures from the Higgins Armory Collection at the Worcester Art Museum launched the five-year exhibition plan proposed in the Telfair for All strategic plan. Richmond Barthé: Harlem Renaissance Sculptor, Created Beasts: Sculpture by Ulysses Davis, and 9 to 5 were the closing exhibitions of the year.

To engage visitors before purchasing a three-site pass, Telfair introduced a new iteration of the Octagon Room in the Telfair Academy and a street-visible art installation at the Jepson Center. The Octagon Room reinterpretation represents the culmination of art, history, and architecture at Telfair Museums. One Museum, Many Facades, offers visitors an opportunity to engage with Telfair before purchasing the three-site ticket. Simultaneously, Friendswithyou’s inflatable sculpture Earth Angel was suspended in the Eckburg Atrium, welcoming guests into the Jepson Center all year.


The institution acquired important and impactful works to expand the museum’s permanent collection, which currently holds over 8,000 works. In a transformational gift, Dr. and Mrs. Walter O. Evans presented Telfair with 28 works, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs that expand the representation of African-American artists in the collection.

Mr. & Mrs. Robert S. Jepson Jr.’s gifts of the untitled winter scene by Carl Brandt and a portrait of Mrs. Robert Lovell Gwatkin by Sir Joshua Reynolds were also significant additions.

Sculptures, including Louise Nevelson’s Mirror Shadow XXIIIBlack Narcissus by Richmond Barthé, and an untitled sculpture by Richard Hunt, enhanced the museum’s collection of three-dimensional works.  Thanks to the generosity of the Gari Melchers Collectors’ Society, works by artists Elizabeth Colomba and Chul Hyun Ahn that expand the horizons of the contemporary art collection at the museum, and a presentation silver set by Baltimore firm A. E. Warner, for the Savannah Republican Blues in 1859, adds an essential example of Southern silver with a local story to the decorative arts collection.

Exhibitions & Acquisitions


Telfair Museums continues to be honored by the overwhelmingly generous support from our patrons, sponsors, members, and trustees.

The 2023 Telfair Ball, Promenade in the Park, chaired by Dale Critz Jr., in Forsyth Park, was a spectacular event. The 43rd annual gala was an evening of immersion in our city’s natural beauty. The most significant fundraiser for our institution, the Telfair Ball, provides a platform for patrons of the arts to gather to raise the proceeds needed to allow the museum to serve our community in exceptional, life-changing ways.

Expanding membership benefits increased Director’s Circle events, strengthened our member affiliate programs, and more. Our members, corporate sponsors, and donors’ continued patronage provided the foundation to present the exhibitions, programs, events, and more. Telfair Museums is immensely grateful and looks forward to another year of growth.


2023 Board of Trustees

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Telfair Museums
PO Box 10081
Savannah, GA 31412
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