Belz Museum - Asian and Judaic Art

Jade - Qing Dynasty - Porcelain - Carving - Paintings

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is a treasured collection of jade and other artifacts primarily from the Qing Dynasty.  The number of artifacts displayed here is enormous and varied.


The Qing Dynasty, 1644 to 1912, was the pinnacle of Chinese jade carving. 

Art Galleries all over the world treasure pieces of Asian art as seen in this museum located in Memphis, TN. 

Belz Museum Entrance


What we know as Jade is actually two separate and distinct minerals, Jadeite and Nephrite.  Jadeite is the higher quality of the two, is of gem value and the jade we see in jewelry.  Much of the Belz Museum of Asian Art collection is Jadeite.   The colors of Jadeite range from whitish to dark green. 

When you first enter the gallery, find the display entitled “What is Jade?”  Read about jade and the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness.  It gives you some perspective of how hard Jade is and some appreciation of the difficulty carving it.   

Jade is not the only substance represented here.  There are many other decorative materials such as bone, coral and ivory.  You will also see porcelain, minerals, embroidery, and paper and ink drawings.

The Chinese say, 'gold has a price but Jade is priceless.'

There is jade carved in every form possible, and in every color you can imagine.  Find the Jade dragon boat, carved to scale, as a model for a full-sized boat.  A total of 30 artisans worked for 2 years to carve it. 

There is an area with carvings of small tigers, horses, elephants, sheep, and camels.  Children will love the Belz Museum of Asian Art. 

As you go through the rooms of Asian Art be sure to see the carved Jadeite Duck with nuts and vegetables, with small children inside a cabbage leaf.  There is a collection of Dragon Boats made from various materials. 

The Belz Museum of Asian Art also has a large porcelain collection

Be sure to check out the Emperor's Robe with silk embroidery

The sheer number of objects and the variety of work in this collection is awesome.  Before moving on to the Judaic Art Collection, stop for a moment and appreciate the incredibly skilled artists who created all these beautiful decorations.  

Before you leave the Asian Galleries check your map and be sure you have not missed any of the rooms.

The gift shop is in the middle of the lobby.  In one direction is the Belz Museum of Asian Art collection; opposite it you will find the Judaic Art.  In the hallway just before the Judaic Art is the Tusk Gallery.

When you arrive in the Tusk Gallery, first read the information about Mammoth tusks, also known as Mammoth Ivory or wood and their use as carved decoration.  

Jade is also know as "heaven's stone."

In the Tusk Gallery, notice the carving of the dragon fish among eighteen monkeys.   The impossible-to-miss Jade Bridal Sedan is in the Mammoth Tusk Gallery. 

After you visit the Tusk Gallery, continue down the hallway to the Judaic Art collection.  

Belz Museum - Judaic Art Collection

In the Judaic section of the museum is a small gallery with the work of photographer Frederic Brenner.  It is a small but memorable collection.  Brenner has spent much of his career photographing the lives of Jewish people on five continents.  The two photos of the barbers with their customers is rather funny; you will enjoy them.  

Belz Museum on pedestrian mall.

    There are several paintings by Alexander Kanchik in the Judaic gallery.  His paintings are full of vibrant color and amusing scenes with a dream-like quality.

- Need to Know -

  • The Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art is located at 119 South Main Street in the Pembroke Square Building.
  • It is in the downtown area in easy walking distance from the Peabody Hotel and Beale Street.  
  • There are some parking meters close by but the best place to park is in the Tower Garage.  If there are no special events going on, it is pay by the hour and very reasonable.  You can have your parking ticket validated at the museum for discounted parking.
  • Some visitors graze through the galleries in an hour.  If you like to read about the art and take time to enjoy it, you will be here at least two hours. 
  • When you enter, be sure to pick up a copy of the Gallery Map
  • The museum is all on one floor and easily accessible
  • The Peabody Place trolley stop is just a few yards from the entrance. 

Museum Hours and Admission

The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays. 

Adults - $6.00

Seniors - $5.00

Students - $4.00

Children under the age of 5 are admitted free.

The last tickets are sold 30 minutes before closing time.

Open Tuesday through Friday

10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Open Saturday and Sunday

12:00 noon - 5:00 p.m.

YeaMemphis Tip - YeaMemphis found so much to enjoy it is impossible to pick one or two things.  There is great variety here, something for everyone.

The photographs of Frederic Brenner make a lasting impression. 

The gift shop is full of souvenirs appropriate to remember your visit.  There are tea cups with lids that hold the reservoir for your tea leaves.  Children like to purchase the small carved animals.  The also have a nice selection of jewelry, lanterns to use on the patio and small Buddha statues. 

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