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Telfair Museums’ collection was formally founded with the bequest of Mary Telfair in 1875. The scope of the Telfair’s collection today primarily encompasses American and European art from the 19th century to the present, in a broad range of media. There are currently over 7,000 works of art in the collection, divided roughly equally between fine and decorative arts.

Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872) American Landscape, 1862 Oil on canvas

Walter and Linda Evans Collection

Gifts from Walter and Linda Evans form the cornerstone of Telfair’s growing collection of African American art. The Evans Collection features paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, and photographs by noted Black artists from across the past 150 years, including works by Robert Duncanson, Edward Bannister, Loïs Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Richard Hunt, Clementine Hunter, and Frank Stewart. These were assembled through decades of studious collecting by Dr. Walter O. Evans, a Savannah-born surgeon and long-time resident of Detroit, MI. Now retired and once again living in his hometown, Dr. Evans has served on Telfair’s Board of Trustees and founded the Friends of African American Arts affinity group. Many works from the Evans Collection have been published and featured in international traveling exhibitions, and visitors will find them enriching galleries at both the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center.

Artwork: Robert Seldon Duncanson (1821–1872); American Landscape, 1862; oil on canvas; gift of Walter and Linda Evans.

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