One of Georgia’s oldest cultural institutions plans to add a new offering to its lineup next year: the Telfair Children’s Art Museum.
Telfair Museums — the Savannah nonprofit that operates two art museums at Telfair Academy and the Jepson Center, as well as the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters — announced it will transform part of the Jepson Center in a children’s art museum.
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“We envision it as a journey of artistic exploration for children of all ages and their families,” said Benjamin Simons, CEO and Executive Director of Telfair Museums. “There will be a tunnel gallery; there will be large immersive galleries; there will be an interactive portrait gallery. We’re really excited about that.”
The Jepson Center, built in 2006, houses contemporary art, while the nearby Telfair Academy — which the nonprofit claims to be the oldest public art museum in the South, having opened in 1886 — houses older works, as well as the iconic “Bird Girl” Sculpture made famous by the 1994 novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
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Simons said the children’s art museum will connect to Georgia school curriculum essentials and national educational standards by linking learning experiences with the Telfair Museums’ permanent collection, with a focus on Impressionism. American. For the youngest, a toddler area will offer tactile exhibitions intended to introduce them to art and architecture.
Although the Jepson Center already has exhibit space for children, Simons said discussions with community partners helped the organization recognize the need for a major update to the space.
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Savannah-based design firm Fren Inc. will serve as the general contractor. Simons said the company has already begun ordering equipment and construction materials needed for the project, in an effort to get ahead of global supply chain delays.