Telfair Museums will reopen its three sites—the Telfair Academy, the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, and the Jepson Center for the Arts—beginning Friday, June 26, after being closed since mid-March due to the pandemic.
“This is a major step toward restarting the cultural and tourism industry in Southeast Georgia,” says Bob Faircloth, Telfair’s new acting director. “Our museums have a more than $9 million annual economic impact here in Savannah, we’re the city’s largest employer and provider of programming in the cultural arts sector, and we’re excited to get back to sharing the rich and important experience of art and history with Savannah residents and tourists.”
The museums have implemented a number of new health initiatives for visitors and staff, "including social distancing, regular deep cleanings, hand sanitizer, plexiglass, face masks, and reduced-contact admissions procedures," a spokesperson says.
The Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, a National Historic Landmark, "will have family-sized tour groups and a new audio component to help ensure the safety of guests on the 200-year-old property."
The museums, which have a single $20 admission fee, will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Mondays. During the initial reopening phase, they will be closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
To celebrate the museums’ reopening, there will be a Free Family Weekend from Friday, July 17-Sunday, July 19, with free admission to all Savannah and Chatham County residents in partnership with the City of Savannah.
The museum has extended a number of exhibitions impacted by the closure, including the major exhibition Collecting Impressionism: Telfair’s Modern Vision.