• Since 1867

    Preserving Savannah's

    African-American History

  • Founder of the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation Inc

    W.W. Law


    The King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation Inc (Foundation) was founded by Wesley Wallace Law, more commonly know as W. W. Law, and a renowned preservationist, visionary and community activist. The Foundation is the parent operating organization for the King-Tisdell Cottage and The Beach Institute.


    W. W. Law was a crusader for justice and the civil rights of African Americans. He served as president of the Savannah Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1950 to 1976 and came to be widely known as “Mr. Civil Rights.”

    Law believed that nonviolent means were the best way to open the city for blacks.


    After retiring from the NAACP, he turned his attention to the preservation

    of African American history and historic buildings. He established the Westley Wallace Law Savannah-Yamacraw Branch of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH).


    As president of ASALH, he established the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, Negro Heritage Trail Tour, King-Tisdell Cottage Museum, and the Beach Institute of African American Culture.


    Law received honorary doctorates from Savannah College of Art and Design (1997) and Savannah State University (2000), the Distinguished Georgian Award (1998) from the Center for the Study of Georgia History at Augusta State University, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's National Preservation Award (2001), and the Governor's Award in the Humanities (1992). Law died on July 28, 2002, at his Savannah home.


  • King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation

    Mission Statement

    To research, collect, interpret and present African American history and culture through exhibits, art, films, lectures, oral history, tours and publications. The Foundation endeavors to promote and disseminate information concerning this history and to celebrate the contributions of African Americans, especially in Georgia and the Sea Islands of South Carolina. The Foundation seeks to foster continued interracial understanding and appreciation of different cultures.

    King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation

    Purpose Declaration

    King-Tisdell Cottage is the birthplace of the movement to preserve African American history in Savannah. It serves as a museum interpreting black life in the region from slavery to freedom, through tours, exhibits and related materials. The King-Tisdell Cottage also tells the story of two working class families in the early decades of the 20th century and provides information on the life and work of Mr. W. W. Law, the civil rights leader who helped save and preserve the cottage and who founded the King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation.

    The Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center

    Purpose Statement

    The Beach Institute is Savannah’s first school built after Emancipation specifically for African Americans. As a cultural center, the Beach Institute collects, interprets, preserves and presents African American history and culture through exhibits and artistic and educational programs.

  • 2020 Board of Directors


    Ronald L. Christopher, Chair - Juanita Adams, Vice-Chair - Antoinette M. Mullino, Secretary - Dr. Bobby Jones, Treasurer



    Phillip Davis - E. Bruce Adams

    Dr. Evelyn B. Dandy - Jessie Collier DeLoach
    Freddie H. Gilyard - Randy Gunter - Betty Lasseter

    Reuben Lewis, IV - Pete Liakakis

    Sylvia A. Rudolph - Alicia Brunson

    Anthony Maben - Willis Jones

    Lillian Grant-Baptiste - Michael Porter



    Jenny McCord - Museum

    Imani Mtendaji - Cottage

All Posts
Terms & Conditions
Closed for the following Holidays: 
New Year’s Eve 
New Year’s Day (Day after New Year’s Day) 
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
St. Patrick’s Day Observance
July 4th 
Labor Day
Day After Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day

Closed to the Public when Private Events are held at either museum.

Closed when severe weather conditions occurs (T-Storms ,etc are indicate by the national weather systems as a severe warning).

Closed when events are held in the City of Savannah or City Limits that required streets closing (marathons, parades and so on). 
Mobility Access: All galleries at the Beach Institute are wheelchair accessible. 
Accessible Entrance and Parking: The wheelchair entrance is located in the garden entrance of the Beach Institute from Price Street Lane. There are accessible parking spaces immediately outside the wheelchair entrance located directly behind the museum on the Price Street Lane. An elevator provides access to the upstairs galleries.

Accessible Programs: The museums offer programs by appointment for audiences with special needs. Each year, the museums schedule visits for non-profit organizations serving senior and individuals with disabilities. For more information or to request a visit, please call 912.335.8868 or email kingtisdell@bellsouth.net 

Sketching: Sketching is permitted in the galleries (pencil only, no ink or paint) with sketchbooks no larger than 8 1/2 x 11 inches (21.6 x 27.9 cm). No easels, stools, or sketching while sitting on the floor is permitted. If galleries are crowded, staff may ask visitors to stop sketching or writing.
Photography for Studio Projects or Class Assignments: All Visitors must obtain and signs a onetime image-usage permission form from museum staff.  And visitors must also provide museum staff with official documentation concerning the Studio Project or Class Assignment while visiting the museums. Still photography and video taken from a handheld device are permitted for personal, noncommercial use. The camera must be at least three (3) feet from the work of art. Flash photography, tripods, additional lights and extension cords are not allowed.
Additional Guidelines:
•	No Touching. Visitors must at all times remain at least two feet away from all artworks and must not touch any paintings, sculptures, books, foyer furniture, or displays.
•	No Photographs. Visitors are not permitted to take any photographs inside the Museums at any time for any reason. This includes cell phone cameras and video recording devices of any kind.
•	No Food or Beverage. No food or beverages are permitted inside the Museums.
•	No Smoking. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the Museums or immediately outside the entrance.
•	No Firearms. Firearms are not permitted in the Museums.
•	No Pets. Pets are not permitted in the Museum, except service dogs for the disabled.
•	No Cellular Phones. All cellular phones and other electric devices must be turned off or put on vibrate before touring the museums.
•	Strollers: Baby strollers are welcome.
•	Children. All children must be supervised at all times by their accompanying adults. (Due to the fragile nature of the collection and the intimate environment in the galleries, children under the age of 8 must be supervised at all time while inside of the museums, and children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by at least one adult for every four children).
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