Welcome to the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art!

The Belz Museum opened in 1998 and was originally three small rooms; over the years, the museum has expanded and now encompasses 24,000 square-feet of exhibition space and over 1,400 objects.

Originally the private collection of local entrepreneur, Jack A. Belz, and his wife, Marilyn, most pieces on display were donated by them to the foundation that runs the museum. The Belz Museum has 5 permanent exhibit galleries: 3 Asian, 1 Judaic, and the Holocaust Memorial Gallery. Special exhibits are brought in semi-annually.


The museum is unofficially called “The Jade Museum,” since one of the main materials featured is jade in sculptural form. The main Asian collection features artworks from the Qing Dynasty, the last dynasty of China, which ran from 1644-1911.

The Judaic Gallery, which opened to the public in the fall of 2004, contains over 200 works of art created by contemporary Jewish artists working and living in Israel today. Many of the pieces were commissioned by Mr. Belz from artists with whom he has personal relationships.

For info on our hours of operation, admission costs and discounts, and physical location please click here.

Social Media

Follow us to stay updated on new exhibitions, special events, gift shop sales, and more.

   

Visit our new LinkedIn page: Belz Museum

Item of the Month: August 2017

25% off Tibetan Mala Bracelets/Necklaces and Zen Gardens!


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Current Events / News

There will be several days in September when we will be CLOSED to the public:

September 9th-- Private Event

September 16th-- Private Event

September 21 & 22nd-- Rosh Hashanah

September 30th-- Yom Kippur

Please plan acoordingly!

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Volunteer @BelzMuseum !

Belz Museum Volunteers

The Belz Museum requires excellent customer service skills and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff, other volunteers and visitors. Belz Museum staff will also be looking for sincere enjoyment of people and the ability to deal positively with difficult visitors. Knowledge of Memphis and tourist attractions is helpful.

See below for specific duties:

Museum Ambassador and Visitor Welcome

Ensure that all visitors have a positive and enjoyable experience. Greet and welcome guests, check coats and belongings, answer questions, provide directions, engage in conversations about art and exhibitions and assist museum visitors. Requires a warm, professional public presence and customer service orientation; ability to communicate clearly and effectively with staff, volunteers and visitors. Training provided.

Operation support

Support staff during required breaks and museum maintenance. Volunteers will help with light housekeeping (vacuuming within galleries, dusting cases and cleaning glass). Volunteers will also cover the gift shop operations if the staff is required to give a tour or work with student groups.

Art Project Prep

Assist museum staff with set-up, clean-up, demonstration and use of materials for school groups. Experience working with children preferred.

Events Support

Be the host with the most at after-hours programs and other special events. Greet guests, check coats and parcels, and assist staff. Physical requirements may include standing for extended periods and lifting up to ten pounds.

Special Projects

The Belz Museum has special projects that crop-up during the year and we are always looking for help.  The projects could be signage installation, specialty construction, painting exhibit areas or even small research assignments.

Required training will be provided by Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art - Training will involve learning the bullet points for “selling” the Museum to visitors as well as basic training for understanding the collection. Training to use the register as well as the credit card machine will be provided.

Contact Museum Staff for more information: info@belzmuseum.org

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Special Exhibit

Fall Special Exhibit 2017:

Dragons and Their Stories

In most Western stories, dragons are regarded as evil,
dangerous - they come into the village, make a mess, eat the sheep, and carry off the maidens. But
in China, dragons are different. They are considered powerful and benevolent creatures; for
example, they can summon rain for people during a drought, they can chase fish into the nets for
fishermen.

It was said that thousands of years ago, Yandi a legendary leader was born by his mother's
telepathy with a mighty dragon. With the help of the dragon, and allied with Huangdi - a tribal
leader, they opened the way to Chinese civilization; so Yandi and Huangdi were considered to be
ancestors of the Chinese people. As time has gone by, Chinese people refer to themselves as the
descendants of the Chinese dragon.


The Chinese dragon has transformed from an imaginary prodigy to a mascot, from ancient times to
the present. It represents the Chinese peoples unwavering and pioneering spirit - of keeping
pace with the times.


Not only is the dragon a prevailing symbol throughout all of China, but it's also very popular
among the Chinese people living overseas; it has become the symbol of China and of Chinese
culture.

10 Interesting Facts About Chinese Dragons

Chinese dragons don't exist in real life — there is no evidence to prove that they are real creatures.

The Chinese dragon is one of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs.

Emperors in ancient China were identified as the sons of dragons. And, at that time, ordinary people were not allowed to have items with pictures of dragons on them.

Chinese dragons are symbolic of being lucky, propitious, powerful, and noble; not as monsters as they are portrayed in Western stories.

As a powerful symbol, some strong people like to have dragon tattoos on their arms, legs, backs, and chests, but usually they are not regarded as very easygoing people.

Most Chinese dragons' pictures have long bodies like snakes and sharp claws like hawks, not like dinosaurs.

Chinese dragons don't have wings but they can "fly" into the sky.

Chinese dragons don't breathe fire but can summon rain.

Chinese dragons live at the bottom of seas, rivers, lakes, or anywhere with water.

Chinese people love the Chinese character for a dragon (龙 lóng /long/) and a surname with the character, e.g. famous movie stars, such as Jackie Chan (成龙 chéng long /chnng long/ 'become dragon') and Bruce Lee (李小龙 lǐ xiǎolong /lee sshyaoww-long/).


Educators

 

Visit our Educators' Page for information on the the Belz Museum's Specialized Education Tours.

Educators please contact our staff to book a special tour for you and your students! Click here for more information.

Chinese New Year 2018 Art Contest

Our annual art contest in celebration of the Chinese New Year is close at hand! Shelby County students in grades K-12th are welcome to submit their artwork of 2018's Zodiac: The Dog. The Dog is the eleventh zodiac in the 12 year cycle. It is specifically "The Earth Dog" which comes around once in a 60 year cycle. The Earth Dog represents good communication and responsibility. Please email victoria.martin@belzmuseum.org to have a copy of the submission form sent to you or call 901-523-2787 for more details. The rules are listed below:

  1. Artwork MUST be mounted to a piece of black foam cardboard or poster board measuring 16x20--no matter the size of the actual artwork. All artwork must be submitted on the same size board. It can be either vertical or horizontal.

  2. The image must relate to the theme of the contest which is, A Dog Show for the New Year. Each entry should present a portrait of a Dog that includes Chinese Symbolism and Themes. (A copy of the Chinese Character for Dog will be attached to the email along with the submission form.)

  3. Each artwork must be submitted individually. There is no category for collaborations or group projects.

  4. Each entrant should submit only one piece of art. Cut out and attach the entry portion of the submission form. 

  5. All entries must be submitted to the Belz Museum by January 26th, 2018.

Tour Operators

Tour Operators and Tour Guides

Special pricing is availabe to groups of 10 or more. Advanced reservations are required for a Docent-led tour.

Please click here for more information.

Belz Museum of Asian & Judaic Art is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.