2855 Old Austin Peay Hwy
Memphis, TN 38128-5604
Phone: (901) 312-7777
Fax: (901) 312-7778
2855 Old Austin Peay Hwy, Memphis, TN, US, 38128-5604
- Phone: (901) 312-7777
- Fax: (901) 312-7778
Arts & Museums
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.
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.
This museum is housed in the Georgian marble home built in the 1920s by Clarence Sanders, founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery store chain. Sanders never got to live here, and the city transformed the site into a complex of attractions, including the Sharpe Planetarium and an IMAX theater. The Pink Palace's exhibits cover topics ranging from dinosaurs to the Civil War, and from the early Spanish explorers to the evolution of medical research in Memphis.
Tired of putting people, especially kids, to sleep with droning lectures in a dark room and trying to compete with the IMAX theater next door? This planetarium has spiced up its shows with laser lights and music from bands such as the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd. There is even an Elvis show during Elvis Week in August. During special meteorological events, such as meteor showers, the planetarium staff sets up telescopes on the front lawn and encourages visitors to bring their families as well as a picnic dinner.
The Memphis College of Art offers degree programs in photography, graphic design and studio art. The college has two galleries open to the public, where the work of students and faculty may be viewed and purchased. One of the most interesting items for sale is the handmade paper created by students such as alumna Amy Carter, daughter of former president Jimmy Carter. The college holds a special sale each year before Christmas, in which children can create their own wrapping paper or take part in other art activities. Gallery admission is free to the public.
This gallery is in the middle of an upscale strip mall on the well travelled Poplar corridor. It often features local up and coming artists such as Peter Bowman, art instructor at the Memphis University School for boys and photography artist Huger Foote. Other established artists, such as the nationally acclaimed local artist Carrol Cloar who passed away in 1993, are also represented here. Exhibit openings at David Lusk Gallery feature wine and the chance to rub elbows with knowledgeable art patrons.
Not so much a museum as an educational indoor playground, this place is full of interactive activities for kids. Youngsters can climb a skyscraper, explore a fire engine or "ride" a police motorcycle. Children especially love the miniature grocery store, where they can push their own carts and "shop" for staples, and the play bank, where they can write checks. Special exhibits and activities are also offered every month, including puppet shows and live music.
The Dixons were a childless couple who collected art, both fine and decorative, and left it all to the city when they died. The traveling exhibits, are often spectacular, and have included Faberge eggs, glass works 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!
Lisa Kurts has gained an enviable reputation for picking some of the finest artists in the region and the country to exhibit in her gallery. Located in a lovely, restored former home just off the busy Poplar corridor, the setting for the art works is almost as appealing as the art itself. Exhibit openings are well attended by local art patrons who consider Lisa Kurts' Gallery as one of the best galleries in the Mid-South area. Painting, photography, sculpture and more are represented at this well-rounded gallery.
This tiny house stands as a reminder of both a dark period in American history and the efforts of many to remedy the wrongs of slavery. A merchant named Jacob Burkle, who ran a stockyard before the American Civil War, provided a haven for many runaway slaves on their journey through the Underground Railroad. Here you can see where they waited for the instructions that helped them find their way across the Mississippi River to freedom.
This 1870s house is part of Victorian Village, where Memphis homes dating from the 1800s have been preserved and restored. In addition to the furniture and decorative arts displayed inside, the house also has an exhibit of clothing from the Victorian era. Look at the cinched waists and layers of velvet and wonder how the Victorian ladies survived the hot Memphis summers. Tours are held every half hour.
Stroll down the shady streets and imagine that you are a wealthy nineteenth century Memphian. Seventeen marvelous Victorian homes in this charming neighborhood were restored and preserved in the 1970s. Some of the most significant buildings in this area are the Mallory-Neely House, the Lowenstein-Long House, and the Woodruff-Fontaine House. Victorian-themed events and concerts are held here throughout the year as well as a Christmas exhibit. There is metered parking on the street, an easy walk to the homes.