The Jepson Center is a modern art museum designed by internationally acclaimed architect Moshe Safdie. The modern structure is a rather new addition to Savannah and it is unlike any other building you’ll find in our charming town. It was completed in 2006 and opened soon afterwards to acclaim of everyone who stepped through its glass doors.
You could spend a good half-day walking through the Jepson Museum. Upon entering, you may want to just stand and enjoy the expansive atrium with its three story ceiling. Floor to ceiling windows also give you an incredible view of Telfair Square from the atrium.
On many days the three story atrium appears to simply be a very large lobby. During special showings the atrium itself becomes the site of presentations, demonstrations or art showings. The floor to ceiling glass windows stretch upwards and invite your gaze back outside to remember Savannah’s past. The outside view is of Telfair Square and its one of the nearly two dozen such city squares. Savannah’s city square system originated from the master plan by the Founder of the Colony of Georgia -- James Oglethorpe. These squares are enhanced by the amazing buildings that sit on their perimeter -- historic churches, historic homes and on Telfair Square, the amazing Jepson Center.
Back in the atrium, you'll find a large and inviting staircase that leads upstairs to the art exhibits but don’t worry if you aren’t up to climbing the intimidating staircase. There is an elevator available to take you to all three levels of the Jepson Musuem. The first floor is also where you’ll find a wonderful gift shop to purchase both Savannah theme gifts and museum wares. Spending much of the day at the Jepson is possible because the museum also has a cafe located on the 2nd level. So spend a while browsing art compositions and then break for refreshments or a full lunch before resuming your tour of modern art in Savannah. You also have the choice of enjoying a quick lunch at the cafe even if you aren’t purchasing a ticket to view the artwork in Savannah. So after a nearby walking tour or after spending some time shopping, the Jepson Musuem Cafe is another lunch choice. It’s open most days at 10am until 5pm although on Sunday and Monday it does not open until noon.
The Jepson Center is actually the newest addition to the Telfair Museums family. The Owens-Thomas House and the Telfair Academy of Arts & Sciences (both constructed in the 1800s) are the other two museums under the Telfair umbrella. Those buildings are much older and date back into the 19th century.
These three jewels of Savannah’s cultural scene do have quite a difference in their age but they perfectly compliment each other and together they offer a wide variety of artwork and artifacts for you to enjoy. Savannah is already a place that offers beauty to your eyes everywhere you look and now the Jepson has added more visual delight to those who want to visit downtown Savannah.
The Jepson invites all types of art fans through its glass doors to see its current offerings. While many people enjoy purchasing admission and wandering through the section on their own, the Jepson also offers guided tours to groups who plan in advance. This is not only for all groups but especially for student groups. It is recommended to make contact with the museum staff at least one month prior to your visit to arrange such a tour. The minimum size for any group tour is ten people.
The modern art fan will appreciate the artwork on display at the Jepson. The best way to check for current exhibits that will be open during your Savannah travels is to check the museum website where they have both a current exhibit schedule and a blog that keeps you up to date on all the happenings at the facility.
For locals, the Jepson is very targeted towards offering educational exhibits and activities for the entire family. Current programs for kids include Toddler Third Thursdays, WCWM (What Can We Make?), Free Family Days, & Artzeum.
Going to the museum isn’t just for adults. The Jepson Center has made sure the kids of Savannah will love their experience. Learning can be fun and these kid friendly days can be enjoyed by local families or tourists with children who happen to be in town when these family-focused events are scheduled.
There are so many notable tourist attractions and for those with an appreciation of art and culture, The Jepson Center is an attraction near the top of any short list of things to do in Historic Savannah.
Whether you plan in advance to spend a few hours enriching your senses with the cultural contributions at the Jepson Center and write it on your list or even if you just discover the wonderful museum while walking through one of most beautiful downtown squares, you will not regret walking through the doors.
The Jepson Center has an elevator for easy access for all, regardless of your age of physical condition.