Director’s Message – January, 2013

Happy New Year! This month marks my one year anniversary as Director of Telfair Museums. It has been a whirlwind year of learning about the history of the Telfair, our three significant buildings, our wonderful permanent collection of fine and decorative arts, and the important educational outreach activities we offer to the Savannah community. I have also enjoyed getting to meet so many of you whose support makes it possible for us to present world-class exhibitions and education programs that bring the arts to thousands of people each year. Thank you!

I hope you have had a chance to visit the incredible exhibition Offering of the Angels: Paintings and Tapestries from the Uffizi Gallery on view at the Jepson Center. Including works by Botticelli, the workshop of Titian, and other Italian masters, this exhibition offers the Savannah community the first opportunity to view Renaissance paintings since the 1930s. Telfair Museums is honored to be one of only four museums in the United States to present this exhibition-a real testament to the museum’s international reputation-and we are thrilled to be a partner with the Italian government in celebrating 2013 as the Year of Italian Culture in the United States! Thanks to the generosity of the Telfair Academy Guild (TAG), we are able to present three additional lectures to enhance your understanding of the exhibition. The show will remain on view through March 30, so I hope you will visit it again and again!

This spring we are proud to present a diverse lineup of exhibitions that feature works of many different media and time periods. The annual PULSE: Art and Technology Festival will bring some of the most cutting-edge 21st-century artists to Savannah to create installations and performances that blur the boundaries between art and technology. Very different-though equally exciting-will be two chair shows, The Art of Seating: 200 Years of American Design, a traveling exhibition, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, in collaboration with the Jacobsen Collection of American Art and toured by International Arts and Artists, Washington, DC, and our in-house exhibition Sitting in Savannah: Telfair Chairs and Sofas. 

We are also pleased to highlight several major additions to our permanent collection that will be on view for the first time this spring, including the extensive collection of important American and English silver from Dr. Frank Rizza and family and several very significant portfolios of contemporary photography from Dr. and Mrs. Marvin Rappaport, and Joel and Zoe Dictrow. Building a world-class permanent collection is at the very core of a museum’s mission, and we are so grateful to these and the many other donors who have generously contributed works of art to the Telfair. These gifts of art, as well as the many generous financial bequests to the Mary Telfair Legacy Society, create a real and lasting legacy for the museum that will make it possible for us to continue sharing the joy of art with generations to come.

Finally, we have several wonderful special events coming up, including TAG’s The Art of Great Fashion, the Telfair Silent Art Auction, the Telfair Ball & Bash, and TAG’s The Artful Table. The Telfair is so grateful to have such dedicated event chairs and committees who work tirelessly to raise funds that directly support our mission to develop awareness, understanding and appreciation of the arts. I hope to see you at one or more of these events!


Lisa Grove, Director/CEO