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“Beautiful Building”

Telfair Museums Telfair Academy
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Ranked #39 of 218 things to do in Savannah
Certificate of Excellence
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Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Designed by British architectural prodigy William Jay in the neoclassical Regency style, the Telfair Academy is a former mansion built in 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.
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Beautiful Building”
Reviewed 19 November 2013

Come here for the architecture-- mansion built in the early 1800s. The art itself is not top of the line, but some of the large scale paintings are amazing to look at. Very happy that I went and getting the combined ticket for the three museums is a great deal- especially also going to the Owens-Thomas House.

Visited November 2013
3 Thank mrh16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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467 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
48 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Museum in a Mansion”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

The Telfair family once lived in this magnificent mansion which now houses their impressive collection of American and European paintings. The large rotunda room took away my breath when I entered it! The woodwork, the several-stories high ceiling and some wonderful huge paintings absolutely made my visit worthwhile. There are only a couple of floors here, with an elevator for tired knees. I didn't expect a huge place on the scale of the Met in NYC or the Fine Arts in Boston. I expected, and got, a museum I could visit in less than an hour on my last half day in Savannah. Seeing the Bird Girl sculpture (from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil) was a thrill in itself. I am glad it is now in such a protected place. I would definitely go back when next in town. Note: there IS enough to see and read about to take several hours if one is so inclined.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Sue C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Port Saint Lucie, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
288 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“"Bird Girl" statue best of all”
Reviewed 6 November 2013

We had purchased a combo ticket at the Owens-Thomas House for the Telfair and Jepson Center. We didn't have time to go through the Jepson, but did take a couple of hours to tour the Telfair Museum. We were at the right place at the right time as we approached the reception desk. A group tour was beginning and we were able to tag along and hear the history of the house, it's remodeling adventures, and how the artworks, statues (on lower level) came to be in this magnificent 'home'. The Bird Girl statue was something to see in person. I am sorry they had to move her from Bonaventure and that they do not allow photos of her or any other things in the museum. I agree that it would have been disappointing had I paid the full price for this just one museum tour, but all in all, it was an enjoyable 2 hours spent.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank KMW-FL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Valley, Georgia
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Couldn't Understand Organization”
Reviewed 28 October 2013

Instead of buying just the ticket for this museum, buy the package deal (currently $20) for all three Telfair museums.
This particular one was for me the least organized of the three. While there were many paintings, they were located on the bottom level with very little lighting so it was difficult to see detail. The floor level has a few rooms that have been restored and one room with various types of chairs.
I was not really convinced about the organizational scheme of this museum. It seemed to be more space oriented than actually theme oriented.
It is partly a restored home and partly a museum of paintings, sculptures, and the like.
The Bird Girl is there and for some reason I was under the impression that it was bigger than it was (of course my assumption is not the museum's fault).
I just couldn't get a feel for this museum; the Jepson had a definite organizational structure to how things were presented as did the Owens Thomas House.
There was an extensive collection of prints and books near the entrance.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank lynt604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jacksonville, Alabama
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 October 2013

My husband and I purchased the combo ticket (Telfair Museum, Jesper Museum and Owens-Thomas House). Maybe I should have done more research, but we expected more than just a few unimpressive paintings and plaster casts of Greek/Roman sculptures. We were through it in about 10 minutes max. Glad we didn't purchase tickets to this only, I would have really felt like we wasted our money. Also agree with other reviewers, frustrated at the no photography rule. The Owens-Thomas House was fun though!

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Becky K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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