Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art#7 in Best Things To Do in Memphis
Price & Hours
At 24,000 square feet, the Belz Museum displays more than 1,400 objects across five permanent galleries. Three of these house Asian art, much of which dates back to the Qing Dynasty of China (1644 to 1911). The fourth exhibit features contemporary Judaic pieces, and the fifth serves as the Holocaust Memorial Gallery. The museum is unofficially known as the "Jade Museum" due to its extensive collection of jade sculptures.
Recent visitors have called the Belz Museum a "hidden gem" in Memphis, noting that the impressive collection of Asian art rivals even exhibits in China itself. They said that the mixture of Judaic and Asian art is unusual but spectacular, and that the Holocaust Memorial Gallery left them speechless. Many travelers said this museum is not to be missed and that it was more than worth the cost of entry. However, some museumgoers did note that this is probably not the best thing to do with young children, as the Holocaust exhibit can be heavy and young kids may become bored.
The Belz Museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and major holidays. Located in the heart of downtown Memphis, the museum is just one block west of The Peabody Memphis and walking distance from Beale Street. It is accessible via the Main Street trolley line, or visitors can park at the Tower Garage and get their tickets validated at the museum. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $4 for students and free for children 5 and younger. The last ticket is sold one hour prior to closing, and self-guided audio or written tours can be purchased for $3 to complement your visit. For more information, see the Belz Museum website.
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#1 National Civil Rights Museum - Lorraine Motel
Recent travelers agreed the National Civil Rights Museum should be at the top of anyone's list of things to see in Memphis. Housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968, the museum features multimedia presentations on the civil rights movement. With the help of 260 artifacts, more than 40 films, oral histories, interactive media and external listening posts, visitors are guided through five centuries of history. During your self-guided tour, you'll view artifacts paramount to the movement, such as a Greyhound bus ridden by Freedom Riders. You'll also have the chance to see King's motel room, where he spent his final hours.
Reviewers described the museum as "surreal" and "incredbily moving." They went on to note the staging of the exhibits is "top-notch" and said the museum helped put seminal events of the period into context for a better overall understanding of the movement. Visitors should budget at least two to three hours to tour the entire facility. The museum is also a featured stop on many of the best Memphis tours.
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