Savannah Culture

Header-image-StephenBy Robert K Stephen

(SAVANNAH, GA) – OK. Let’s be honest as northerners. Culture and the arts in Georgia? Yes.

There is more than yokels’ cruising the streets in pick-up trucks throwing empty cans of beer on the sidewalk.

Savannah, Georgia isn’t exactly a bustling metropolis, like New York, Chicago, or Toronto, but it has a world class museum known as the Jepson Center.

The Jepson is but part of a trio of Telfair Museums featuring three sites located on stately squares in the heart of Savannah’s Historic District; the Jepson Center for the Arts, opened in 2006, the Telfair Academy, and the Telfair Owens-Thomas House, which is Savannah’s most popular historic house.

A visit to all three sites will cost you $20.

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The natural light filling the main staircase at the Jepson, in Savannah, GA, enthralled Robert Stephen during his visit.
Photo bt Robert Stephen.

The Jepson Center jumps out with modernity and light. It’s a welcoming site and inspiring. Instantly welcoming, with blasting natural light and terraced ceilings, which lay a criss -cross shadow of design below.

Designed by Moshe Safdie. Layers of light. One upon entrance upon the stairwells, into the gloom, but well lit, galleries and then out to the brilliance of the outside Moore Sculpture Terrace. Multi levels of light.

The Jepson has three levels, but lacks in permanent substance. It seems weighted toward special exhibits which, to me, work very well. It exposes the citizens, and tourists to Savannah, to a continual flash of culture. Its natural light and inviting staircase has me suckered in completely.

While visiting the Jepson there is Warhol’s In Living Colour consisting of collections from the Jordan Schnitzner collection. We are presented with 30 years of Warhol. You’ll see a whole range of Warhol works arranged under the headings of, Experimentation, Experience, Subversion, and Emotion.

Just an example of what the Jepson can drag into Savannah, the exhibition ran until May 17.

From May 15 until August 30, it’s Life on the Beach, consisting of photographs by Martin Parr, who has photographed beaches throughout the world for many decades. Beaches in Argentina, Brazil, China, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Spain, the United States, Mexico, and England, to name a few.

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Andy Warhol’s Liza Minelli on display at the Jepson.
Photo by Robert Stephen.

The Jepson is the most spectacular, modern, and welcoming of the trio. Of particular interest was The Art of Diplomacy highlighting a few of Winston Churchill’s 500 paintings, one of which was purchased by Brad Pitt for $2.5 million and on loan to the Jepson.

Hungry at the Jepson?

There is a wonderful, well lit cafeteria on the second floor serving locally sourced foods categorized as Small Plates, Sandwiches, Salads, Sides, and Specials.

All said and done, the Jepson is a must.

Why bother leaving such a gem? Being so enormously contented with the Jepson it was off to the Telfair Academy.

Its main floor showcases an entertaining room, dining room, business room and, below, the kitchen. Take a step below to the Sculpture Gallery with predominately American art, from what you might refer to as lesser known artists, but very meaty and satisfying.

Really a must see in Savannah, if you have any arts in your soul.

No doubt there is great food and accommodations in Savannah, but culture too.

The Jepson and Telfair Academy rock.

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About the Author

Robert Stephen (CSW)
Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he loves The Square. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."Email Robert Stephen
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