The Telfair Museum of Art
, located in the historic district of Savannah, Georgia
, is the South
’s first public art museum
. Founded through the bequest of Mary Telfair (1791-1875), a prominent local citizen, the museum opened in 1886 in the Telfair family’s renovated Regency-style mansion, known as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences
Today, the museum encompasses an extensive collection of over 4,500 American and European paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, housed in three buildings: the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences
(formerly the Telfair family home) and the Owens-Thomas House
, both National Historic Landmarks designed by British architect William Jay in the early nineteenth century; and the contemporary Jepson Center for the Arts, designed by Moshe Safdie
and completed in 2006.
The Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House feature period rooms and collections of decorative arts. The Jepson Center for the Arts features galleries of African American art, Southern art, photography and works-on-paper, two galleries for traveling exhibitions, a community gallery, a children's gallery, and two outdoor sculpture terraces.