Telfair Ball “Blues in the Night”

Hundreds of Savannah’s most stylish movers and shakers gathered for this year’s annual Telfair Ball and Bash. This year’s theme was “Blues in the Night” to reflect the current exhibit of Harlem Renaissance works “The Visual Blues.”  The opening reception at the Telfair Academy included a silent auction followed by a spirited live auction led by Sotheby’s auctioneer, Hugh Hildesley. Revelers then walked to the Jepson Center for a glamorous sit down dinner by Chef Nick Muller. A little after 10 p.m., dinner partiers joined the Telfair Bash back at the Academy and danced to the upbeat grooves of “Right to Party.”


The ball is a major fundraising effort for the Telfair Museums’ and board chairwoman Alice Jepson was on hand tending to guests. Jepson’s excellent leadership of the museums’ board continues to generate dynamic results with great exhibits and increasing community support. She stated that the museum is always trying to reach a younger audience, and this year’s Bash included a large number of bright young things.


Left to right: Dan and Elisabeth Biggerstaff, James and Lisa Grove, Robert and Alice Jepson


This year’s Ball chairwoman, Elisabeth Biggerstaff, said she and her committee were thrilled with the turnout of 300, even though the weather did not cooperate! “The Telfair Ball and Bash are a tradition that Savannahians look forward to every year. It’s a night on which the community dresses in their finest and takes the opportunity to show its strong support for the museum.  Exquisite decorations present the Jepson Center and the Telfair Academy at their most beautiful and dramatic. We took our cue from Johnny Mercer's "Blues in the Night," playing on the color blue and the musical blues.”  


Museum CEO, Lisa Grove, explicated the importance of the current exhibit and its theme for the ball, “As the oldest art museum in the South, Telfair Museums is especially gratified to present The Visual Blues, the first exhibition to explore the rich connections between the music and paintbrushes of the artists of the Harlem Renaissance. The incredible musical and cultural traditions of the South found fertile ground in Harlem and other northern cities where millions of African Americans moved to escape the Jim Crow South in the years between the two world wars. There, they found unprecedented opportunities for artistic freedom and experimentation that had lasting effects on American culture.”


The exhibition features 60 works on loan from prestigious museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Grove went on to say, “One of the most important aspects of the exhibition, and something that was very meaningful to Telfair Museums, is that it brings recognition the contributions of many important African American artists with roots in the South who would otherwise be unrecognized. It enables us to continue our efforts to present exhibitions that both garner national attention and have specific relevance to our local audience.”


The Visual Blues exhibit is open through May 3. Become a member if you are not already, and join in the Telfair Museums’ fun cultural events. Don’t miss the party for Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil author John Berendt, Tuesday, March 3.