Telfair Academy

TA March 2016_697

121 Barnard St.
Savannah, GA 31401

Designed by British architectural prodigy William Jay in the neoclassical Regency style, the Telfair Academy is a former mansion built from 1818-1819 for Alexander Telfair, son of Revolutionary War patriot and Georgia governor Edward Telfair.

In 1875, Alexander’s sister Mary – heir to the family fortune and last to bear the Telfair name – bequeathed the house and its furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society to be opened as a museum. After significant renovation by German-born architect Detlef Lienau, whose adaptations included the addition of the Sculpture Gallery and the Rotunda, the building opened to the public in 1886 as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Telfair Academy contains two nineteenth-century period rooms and houses nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European art from the museum’s permanent collection including paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts. Highlights include fine examples of American Impressionism and Ashcan School Realism, with major paintings by Childe Hassam, Frederick Frieseke, Gari Melchers, Robert Henri, George Bellows, and George Luks.

On February 23 and 24, Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center will be closed to the public in preparation for the 38th Annual Telfair Ball. The Owens-Thomas House will be open to visitors. Admission during these two days will be $15 for Adults, Military, Seniors, and Students. Visitors will receive a 3-site pass valid for use at Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center beginning on Sunday, February 25. Admission prices will return to normal on Sunday, as all three sites will be back open for business. Thank you for your understanding.


Telfair Academy Tour Schedule

Free with museum admission!

Mansion to Museum Tour
Learn the incredible story of the transformation of the Telfair family mansion into the oldest public art museum in the South, which opened its doors in 1886.

  • 10am (Tuesday-Saturday only)
  • 12pm
  • 2pm
  • 4pm

Telfair Academy Architectural Tour
Bring your earbuds and get to know the details of the Telfair Academy with this free audio tour! This tour is designed to guide listeners around Telfair Academy’s exterior, highlighting the architectural details and history of the building.


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