Telfair Museums offers many resources for teachers, students, and parents including resource guides, lesson plans, and downloadable activity sheets.
Professional Development for Educators
Telfair Museums’ education staff can provide half-day or full-day professional development sessions for educators including Visual Thinking workshops, studio activities, hands-on STEAM projects, and gallery-based writing activities. For more information on resource offerings, please call 912.790.8827.
Curriculum Guides for Educators:
Let’s Explore: Color, Texture, Shape, and More
Guide for Pre-K Educators
Telfair offers its first ever guide for Pre-Kindergarten teachers based upon themes in Telfair’s new Children’s Art Museum (CAM), the museum’s permanent collection and upcoming exhibitions. Developed in consultation with Pre-K educators, this guide includes lessons exploring Color, Shape, Texture, Pattern, and Light. CAM is open year-round for Pre-K tours. Other artworks in this guide will be on view during specific exhibition periods during the 2023/2024 school year.
Created Beasts Educator Guide
Created Beasts: Sculpture by Ulysses Davis is the first exhibition to focus on depictions of creatures, real and imagined, in the work of noted Savannah wood sculptor Ulysses Davis (1914–1990). Born in Fitzgerald, Georgia, Davis taught himself to carve wood as a child and relocated to Savannah to establish a barbershop where he created his art. This exhibition explores Davis’ sculptures of beasts inspired by biblical stories, as well as fantastic creatures that sprang entirely from his fertile imagination. Works inspired by his religious faith include Samson and the Lion, made when he was 11, as well as his final work depicting the serpent in the Garden of Eden. Davis also created decorative works with animal images, from plaques featuring astrological symbols to embellished tabletops. Davis’ imagination reached its fullest expression, however, in his whimsical carvings of animal/human hybrids, extraterrestrial beings, and horned, reptilian creatures that he dubbed “created beasts.” Visitors are invited to explore Davis’ creatures in more than 30 works drawn from Telfair Museums, the Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, and other private and public collections.
Feels Like Freedom | Anything Goes Educator Guide
Feels like Freedom: Phillip J. Hampton is the first large-scale museum retrospective of American painter Phillip J. Hampton (1922–2016), an artist long overdue for continued research and recognition. For 17 years, between 1952 and 1969, Hampton served as an influential visual arts professor and eventual department head at Savannah State College, today known as Savannah State University. He was instrumental in building and expanding a developing arts program and planned arts festivals, taught art appreciation workshops, and organized exhibitions including the first exhibition of African American art at the Telfair Academy in 1959. This new exhibition, alongside a companion exhibition The Early Years at Savannah State’s Kennedy Fine Arts Gallery, will consider Hampton’s impact alongside and as part of the broader context of African American artmaking in the mid-20th century.
Anything Goes: Contemporary Art and Materials considers artists across divides of geography, privilege, formal education, and access who have continued to explore materiality and its potential for aesthetic invention and the construction of meaning. Some of the pieces in the exhibition borrow from movements set by groundbreaking works like the readymades of Marcel Duchamp and the cubist collages of Pablo Picasso. However, many of the artists, unaware or uninterested in tradition, scavenged materials and objects out of necessity, for symbolic or expressive purposes, or simply because of their curiosity in the potential of things cast off by others. These artists and artworks remind viewers of the value and artistic possibilities of the objects that surround us in our everyday lives.
The Art of William O. Golding Educator Guide
The Art of William O. Golding: Hard Knocks, Hardships, and Lots of Experience features the work of William O. Golding (1874-1943), an African American seaman and artist who recorded a half-century of maritime experience in more than one hundred vibrant drawings. In the 1930s, Golding was a patient at the United States Marine Hospital in Savannah, where he represented his experiences in expressive pencil and crayon drawings which combine memory, imagination, and sailors’ lore. 72 works will be exhibited, including 23 drawings from Telfair Museums’ permanent collection, and others from the Morris Museum of Art, The Georgia Museum of Art, and private collections. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalog, the first devoted to this significant American artist.
Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom Educator Guide
Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom consists of a large-scale canopy quilted together from cyanotype reactive fabric squares that were made with the help of workshop participants over the course of Clark’s various residencies. Draped as a night sky overhead, the work offers a celestial viewpoint that encourages us to consider freedom seeking enslaved individuals whose forced labor built the wealth of this nation. Often under cover of night with bounty hunters at their heels, they used the constellations like the Big Dipper to orient their way North along the Underground Railroad—a network of people, safe houses, and clandestine routes used by enslaved people in the early to mid-19th century to escape from states, such as Georgia, that sanctioned slavery, into Northern states and Canada. This consideration of history can be expanded to the present day as visitors question what finding freedom truly means in a world that continues to grapple with the traumas of the past as they persist in our present.
Eighth Grade Curriculum Tour Educator Guide
Telfair Museums’ Slavery and Freedom 8th Grade Program offers eighth graders in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) the opportunity to tour the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters as part of their core Georgia history standards. Tours at the historic house will focus on the art, architecture, and history through the lens of slavery in an urban setting. As students explore the property, they will be learning about the lives of the wealthy white families and enslaved laborers of African descent who lived and worked here.
Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick Educator Guide
Regarded as one of the great American novels, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851) presents an allegorical story that has been reinterpreted over several decades and still holds a prophetic power over our collective imagination. Summon the Sea! Contemporary Artists and Moby Dick examines the work of six contemporary artists who act as epic storytellers as they respond to, challenge, and celebrate the allegories presented in Melville’s literary classic through large-scale sculpture, photography, prints, and video.
Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism
Monet to Matisse: Masterworks of French Impressionism from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens boasts
significant works of art by the most dynamic artists to work in late 19th- and early 20th-century France,
including Claude Monet, Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Gauguin, and Henri Matisse.
Rodin: The Human Experience Educator Guide
At the peak of his career, Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917) was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Leaving behind 19th-century academic traditions, Rodin focused on conveying the vitality of the human spirit through bronze sculpture. His vigorous modeling emphasized his personal response to each subject, and he captured movement and emotion by altering traditional poses and gestures. In doing so, he created his own form of artistic expression. Today, Rodin’s pioneering sculpture is seen as a crucial link between traditional and modern art.
Art & Life: 5 Connections
Teacher resource guide for Telfair Museums’ education initiative, with lessons linking the collection to Math, Science, Language Arts, History and Geography. This guide funded by a Museums for America Grant from the Institute of Library and Museum Services.
Monet and American Impressionism Educator Guide
Telfair Museums brings paintings by Claude Monet (1840-1926) to Savannah for the first time, pairing them alongside some of the best works by leading American Impressionist artists from the early 20th century in Monet and American Impressionism. Monet is known as the father of the French Impressionists but his artistic influence also inspired many American Impressionists. Themes of urbanism and everyday life in America during a time when industrialization was rising are explored, as well as America’s fascination with French art and culture, through tourism and the allure of Giverny, where Monet spent his later decades.
Deep River Educator Guide
Whitfield Lovell is an artist known for incisive and thought-provoking artwork that deals with African American histories, both personal and on a larger scale. Deep River was a project inspired by the artist’s research on Camp Contraband, a safe haven for fleeing slaves. The multi-sensory installation brings up ideas of slavery, freedom, and passage, incorporating both artifacts and anonymous drawn portraits of African Americans during the Civil War.
Romantic Spirits Educator Guide
Romantic Spirits captures the ideals of the romantic movement through the lens of Southern artists. Tracing its origins to literature, art and music in early 19th century France and Britain, the movement eventually made its way to America. In it, artists emphasized the tenets of imagination and emotion, as a reaction to the rationalism of the Enlightenment. The results are sweeping landscapes and dramatic imagery—often exemplified in the paintings of the Hudson River school.
Slavery and Freedom in Savannah Educator Guide
Since its founding in 1883, the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences has been a mainstay of cultural life in Savannah. For generations, students and teachers have benefitted from the museum’s mission to collect, preserve and interpret materials relevant to the history of our city, state and nation. Today, Telfair Museums strives to create opportunities for the community to experience the history of urban slavery through the prism of Savannah.
Helen Levitt: In the Street Educator Guide
Levitt’s photographs, first in black and white and later in color, document neighborhood matriarchs planted on their front stoops, pedestrians negotiating New York’s busy sidewalks, and, perhaps most famously, boisterous children at play. Her revealing work observes people of every age, race, and class, without attempting to impose social commentary.
Spanish Sojourns Educator Guide
In Spanish Sojourns, Telfair Museums has brought together a wide range of Robert Henri’s paintings from his many trips to Spain. His particular interest in the Spanish people is evident in his paintings from the country—nearly all of them portraits. Henri tended to paint certain segments of the population, of them the most predominant were dancers (or bailarinas), bullfighters and people whom he called “gypsies.” The artist captured each of his subjects with dignity and humanity, whether paisanos (peasants) or members of high society.
Allure of the Near East Educator Guide
Showcasing a selection of everyday treasures from the Huntington Museum of Art’s Touma Collection, Allure of the Near East features over 70 objects from a broad geographical area including the Middle East, Turkey, Indian sub-continent, North Africa, and Europe, and range in date from the 1st through the early 20th centuries.
New York Accents Educator Guide
This exhibition explores the rich influence of New York on Telfair Museums’ permanent collection. New York Accents will include dozens of decorative and fine art objects from Telfair Museums’ permanent collection dating from the early 19th century to the present.
The Art of Seating Educator Guide
In the Art of Seating, we have a clear example of how objects themselves can tell stories. Chairs, perhaps better than any one object, can truly capture the essence of design. A cultural universal, like shelter or clothing, seating embodies the culture or style from which it came. In this collection of over 40 examples of chairs we have a prime opportunity to compare and contrast the varying forces that produced them, whether cultural, geographic or artistic.
Leo Villareal Educator Guide
Leo Villareal is a pioneer in the use of LEDs and computer-driven imagery and is known both for his light sculptures and architectural, site-specific works. This exhibition, his first major traveling museum survey, seeks to place Villareal’s body of work within the continuum of contemporary art.
Over the past decade, Goicolea has created a significant and highly successful body of work, and he has proven his skill in easily crossing from one medium to the next. This comprehensive exhibition drew upon North Carolina collections with substantial works by Goicolea; loans from museums, galleries, and private collectors; and three works by Goicolea in the North Carolina Museum of Art’s permanent collection.
Modern Masters Educator Guide
This exhibition of highlights from the outstanding collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum will examine the complex and heterogeneous nature of American art in the mid-twentieth century. Featuring thirty-one of the most celebrated artists who came to maturity in the 1950s, the exhibition traces the history of this period through forty-three key paintings and sculptures.
Dutch Utopia Educator Guide
Encompassing over seventy works drawn from public and private collections throughout the United States and Europe, Dutch Utopia: American Artists in Holland, 1880-1914 examines the work of forty-three American painters drawn to Holland during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Youthful Adventures: Growing Up In Photography
On demand – available anytime! Grades 4-12
Take a tour of work by twentieth century photographers who have documented the experience of youth from early childhood to young adulthood, through key events of the 20th century from the Great Depression era to the Civil rights movement.
- Take the tour: Please contact Carey Daughtry at firstname.lastname@example.org to request access code.
- Online Educator Guide: Connects to Georgia curriculum standards in areas including visual arts, social studies, science, and language arts. Download is available HERE.