Set Current Location
Peabody Place is part of an ambitious downtown renewal effort that includes complexes of restaurants, shops and apartments. Developer Jack Belz and his wife Marilyn have put their private collection of Chinese art on display for the public in a 7500 square-foot (232 square-meter) gallery. Some of the ivory and jade pieces date back to the Manchu Dynasty of the 17th Century. Stroll around Peabody Place and see what is attracting new residents to the downtown area.
The National Ornamental Metal Museum is the only one in the country dedicated to ornamental metalwork. Exhibits often include such diverse objects as silver tea services, swords, jewelry and weathervanes. See a blacksmith at work forging works of art. An annual exhibit in May features the fantastic devices people use to barbecue, timed to coincide with the Memphis in May Barbecue Contest. The museum is set in a lovely spot on the banks of the Mississippi, and the lawns are sometimes used for weddings and other private parties.
Memphis' main museum is housed in a marble building completed in 1916. The architecturally beautiful rooms house an outstanding collection of medieval art and a small but worthwhile collection of Impressionist works. One room is dedicated to a "touch" exhibit for vision-impaired visitors. Temporary exhibits include a patriotic show held during the Memphis in May Festival. The restaurant, the Brushmark, is a fine place to lunch, especially when the outside patio is open, which looks out on Overton Park.
In honor of the ancient Egyptian counterpart to the modern American city of Memphis, the local university maintains a museum featuring a good representation of the usual items from the City by the Nile, including a mummy, papyrus, and various implements and household goods. Another permanent exhibit is the Spirit of Africa, which has artifacts and sculptures from West Africa. In addition - and somewhat unexpectedly - the museum houses an interesting collection of miniatures of American furniture and a good smattering of American and European prints.
The Dixons were a childless couple who collected art, both fine and decorative and left it all to the city when they died. The travelling exhibits, are often spectacular and have included Faberge eggs, glassworks by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, and an explosion of color from Raoul Dufy. The 17-acre (7-hectare) garden is usually open for strolling, except during outdoor concerts, picnics, or theater productions. The museum shop often has items from Memphis' Great Wonders exhibits! The museum is free for everyone on every Saturday between 10 am to noon.