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Savannah Museums

Savannah History & Art Museums

Is it any surprise a city as old and storied as Savannah possesses some of the most intriguing and well­ known museums in the country? Add to that the artistic and cultural influence that the Savannah College of Art & Design has had on Savannah. Explore all that Savannah has to offer in art, history, culture, and architecture at these famous Savannah museums.

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Georgia State Railroad Museum

Georgia State Railroad Museum is a historic site featuring the most complete antebellum railroad of its kind in the world and is located at the old Central of Georgia Railway Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities in downtown Savannah. The museum gives visitors the opportunity to engage in... interactive experiences, such as participating on the handcar, touring the historic railcars and taking a guided site tour by train which showcases our museum’s fully operational turntable. For more information please visit: http://www.chsgeorgia.org/GSRM

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Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

The role Savannahians played in the 1960s Civil Rights movement is portrayed with memorabilia, photos, documents, and displays at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum.

Isaiah Davenport House Museum

The Isaiah Davenport House Museum is devoted to the American Federal style house completed by master builder Isaiah Davenport in Savannah, Georgia in 1820. This includes furnishings and other artifacts relevant to the period and the Davenport family.

Tybee Island Light Station and Museum

Ordered by General James Oglethorpe, Governor of the 13th colony in 1732, the Tybee Island Light Station has been guiding mariners’ safe entrance into the Savannah River for over 270 years. The Tybee Island Light Station is one of America’s most intact, having all of its historic... support buildings on its five-acre site. Four lighthouses are available for visiting and volunteers are on hand to answer questions.

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Juliette Gordon Low House

At Bull Street and Oglethorpe Avenue, Girl Scouts and students of American history should pause at the Juliette Gordon Low Girl Scout National Center, designed by noted early nineteenth-century English architect William Jay, the dignified daughter of William Washington Gordon and founder of the... Girl Scouts of America. Her paintings and sculpture, personal effects, and GSA mementos are in the high-ceiling rooms.

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Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, founded in 1966, exhibits ship models, paintings, and maritime antiques, principally from the great era of Atlantic trade and travel between England and America during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Jepson Center for the Arts

The Jepson Center is part of the Telfair Museums’ three buildings. Telfair Museums, the oldest public art museum in the South, has been an integral part of Savannah’s social landscape for over a century. Since opening its doors to the public in 1880s, the museum has grown from a... renovated family mansion into a distinguished cultural institution boasting three architecturally-significant buildings; a permanent collection of approximately 4,000 works of art from America and Europe, dating primarily from the 18th – 21st centuries; and a history of dynamic educational programming, community outreach, and exciting exhibitions. Located in Savannah’s vibrant historic district, the museum consists of the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House – two circa 1820 National Historic Landmark buildings – and the contemporary Jepson Center.

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Owens-Thomas House

The Owens-Thomas House is considered the finest example of English Regency architecture in America by architectural historians. Inspired by classical antiquity, this style of architecture takes its name from England’s King George IV, who ruled as Prince Regent from 1811 to 1820.

The... Owens-Thomas House is located within easy walking distance to The Telfair Museum’s other two sites in Savannah’s vibrant historic district. A single admission fee allows you access to all three venues, and you may visit each at your leisure over a weeklong period.

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Hamilton Turner House

A fine example of Second French Empire construction, the home was designed and built in 1873 by J.D. Hall for Samuel Pugh Hamilton, former banker, mayor, and entrepreneur. It is decorated with original period furnishings. The home is currently owned by Nancy Hillis, ‘Mandy’ of... Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and she leads several tours.

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SCAD Museum of Art

The SCAD Museum of Art is a contemporary art and design museum conceived and designed expressly to enrich the educational milieu of SCAD students and professors, and to attract and delight visitors from around the world. The existing museum was housed in an 1856 Greek Revival structure that was... once home to the headquarters of the Central of Georgia Railway. Ticket prices vary. The SCAD Museum of Art is closed on Mondays.

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National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

On January 28, 1942, fifty-three days after the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor, the 8th Air Force was officially activated in the National Guard Armory on Bull Street in Savannah, Georgia. In 1983, Major General Lewis E. Lyle, USAF Retired, a B-17 veteran of 70 combat missions during World War... II, and with the help of other veterans, began planning a museum. The Museum would honor the men and women who helped defeat Nazi aggression by serving in or supporting the greatest air armada the world had ever seen – the 8th Air Force. These individuals pledged themselves to honor the courage and commitment of more than 350,000 members of the 8th Air Force. Of this number, 26,000 were killed in action and 28,000 became prisoners of war during World War II. Museum planners traveled throughout the United States and Europe, visiting museums and talking with staff from these institutions. The very best elements found among these facilities were then combined to create a dramatic 90,000-square foot museum complex. On May 14, 1996, to the applause of 5,000 8th Air Force veterans, their families, dignitaries, and supporters, the vision became a reality with the dedication of The Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia, just west of Savannah.

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Telfair Academy

Telfair Academy is part of the Telfair Museums’ three buildings. 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.

The Telfair Academy is located within easy walking distance to The Telfair Museum’s other two sites in Savannah’s vibrant historic district. A single admission fee allows you access to all three venues, and you may visit each at your leisure over a weeklong period.

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Savannah History Museum

Savannah History Museum & Battlefield Memorial Park is located in the former historic Central of Georgia Railroad’s passenger station. The museum walks guests through the city’s history from 1733, spanning the American Revolution and Civil War, all the way to modern day Savannah.... Many exhibits highlight Savannah’s musical, cultural, and artistic contributions including the famous bench from Forrest Gump. For more information please visit: http://www.chsgeorgia.org/SHM

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Old Fort Jackson

Old Fort Jackson, properly named Fort James Jackson, has been a part of Coastal Georgia’s history for over two centuries. Named in honor of Georgia governor and Revolutionary soldier James Jackson, the fort is the oldest standing brick fortification in the state. Fort Jackson is also a... National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The fort is one of only eight Second System fortifications (a series of forts built prior to the War of 1812) still standing in the United States. It served as headquarters for the Confederate Savannah River defenses during the American Civil War.

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Savannah Children's Museum

Savannah Children’s Museum was unveiled in 2012 as an adaptive reuse project in the old Central of Georgia Railway Carpentry Shop in downtown Savannah. The entirely outdoor museum features over a dozen exhibits and programs designed to expand the imaginations of children, including an... exploration maze, a reading nook and a sensory garden. For more information please visit: http://www.chsgeorgia.org/scm

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Massie Heritage Center

Massie is a museum and a resource center for heritage education, especially as it relates to Savannah’s history and its environment. The Massie Heritage Interpretation Center, a unit of the Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, is housed in three nineteenth-century Greek Revival... buildings situated in the Historic Landmark District. Currently it shows the following special collections and exhibits – five teaching installations – Savannah’s city plan, Savannah’s architectural heritage, Savannah’s Victorian era, the debatable lands, and the history of Massie – serve as starting points for excursions into the rich heritage of Savannah, the first city of the thirteenth and final English colony in America.

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Mercer Williams House Museum

The Mercer House was designed by New York architect John S. Norris for General Hugh W. Mercer, great grandfather of Johnny Mercer. Construction of the house began in 1860, was interrupted by the Civil War, and was later completed, circa 1868, by the new owner, John Wilder. In 1969, Jim Williams,... one of Savannah’s earliest and most dedicated private restorationists, bought the then vacant house and began a two-year restoration. This house is one of the more than 50 houses Mr. Williams saved during his thirty-year career in historic restoration in Savannah and the Lowcountry.

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The Andrew Low House

Andrew Low commissioned New York architect John Norris to design and construct his house in 1848. Norris came to Savannah to design the Custom House on Bay Street and remained in Savannah to build many desirable residences using the latest in technology and luxury. The Italianate exterior... features, intricate cast iron railings, and side balconies contrasting with the smooth, stuccoed brick walls. The well proportioned rooms are decorated with elaborate plaster cornices and carved woodwork. The delicate balance of exterior restraint and opulent interior resulted in an elegant villa for the family. The house remained in the family until the death of Andrew Low’s daughter-in-law, Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of Girl Scouts of the USA. The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Georgia purchased the house from her heirs in 1928. Following many years of loving maintenance and conservation, the house was opened to the public in 1950.

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