Jepson Center: History and Harmony
After a century of collecting, exhibiting, and educating Savannah and its visitors about art, history, and architecture, Telfair Museums’ Director and Board of Trustees identified the need for a new, larger facility. Their primary objectives were to increase the capacity for traveling exhibitions, continue an emphasis on education and community involvement, and increase archival storage for a growing collection. The museums’ Board of Directors envisioned a building representative of its time but also open, welcoming, and inviting. They also understood that, in a National Historic Landmark District, it would be challenging to express these ideals in architecture.
Five internationally recognized architectural firms presented their ideas to the trustees in 1998. The trustees unanimously chose Moshe Safdie and Associates. Safdie offered an outstanding international track record of responsible, compelling designs in historic settings, and he excited them with his passion about the possibilities of the new project. Safdie also offered a clear and stimulating vision of a building that would harmonize with its surroundings and welcome the community.
What nobody envisioned was a two-year controversy surrounding the proposed project as the design team made its case before Savannah’s Historic Review Board. Only the passion and dedication of countless individuals enabled the grand vision for the Jepson Center to endure, providing Savannah with a truly iconic structure that, in the words of Safdie, is “vital, contemporary, appropriate to the expression of art to come … and a building you cannot conceive of anywhere else but Savannah.”
9 to 5
Created Beasts: Sculpture by Ulysses Davis
9 to 5
Telfair Children’s Art Museum – Now Open
The Jepson Center is now home to an engaging and immersive children’s art museum. With museum admission, visitors can Explore Impressionism in this state-of-the-art, multi-level play space.
#art912 is an initiative dedicated to raising the visibility and promoting the vitality of artists living and working in Savannah through exhibition opportunities, public programs, and outreach.
Boxed In/Break Out Artists are invited to submit proposals for a public art installation in the windows of the Jepson Center that face Barnard Street.
#art912 on Social Media
Telfair Museums encourages anyone who is making art, looking at art, or talking about art in Savannah to use #art912 on any social media platform to talk about art or artists in Savannah.