When Jack and Marilyn Belz first stepped into a Los Angeles art gallery in 1968, it was their first step into a lifelong passion for Chinese art. Over the years, their collection grew so much that in 1998, they opened a museum that featured their expansive collection. According to the couple, "the intricate creations of Chinese artists rank among the most inspiring" to them. Visitors to the museum today find not only Chinese artwork from eras past, but also modern Judaica art.?
Size:?The Chinese collection ranges from 202 B.C. to early 2008 and encompasses more than 1,400 individual objects such as paintings, carved jades, textiles, and sculptures.?
Eye Catcher: An ornate and intricate wedding carriage carved completely from jade, including the horse.
Permanent Mainstay: According to staff, the museum holds the largest displayed collection by renowned Judaica artist Daniel Kafri, including 32 bronze relief sculptures illustrating biblical scenes.
Don't Miss: a rare carved mammoth tusk from the late 18th century
Newest Exhibit: The Holocaust Memorial Gallery honors survivors, refugees, and liberators who live in Tennessee with displays of their personal stories and artifacts from that time.
Special Programs: The Emperor's Lunch program includes a guided tour of the museum followed by a Chinese box lunch.
One in, one out. This must be Curious Heart Emporium's policy for managing inventory. Colorful, handcrafted lawn sculptures seem to spill out from the yellow-and-green cottage, whose interior shelves are packed to capacity with artisan gifts and novelty pieces from across North America and Europe.
Kathy Corley hand selects everything that guests see in her shop, including jewelry, greeting cards, and sarcastic wall art. Corley, who left her career in the film industry as an art director, likens the shop's character to "Willy Wonka's on steroids."
When shopping around, Corley often gravitates toward items that remind her of her family members. For example, tin toys remind her of her father, and flamingo-inspired pieces represent her sister, who spent her third year of life standing on one foot. Corley also enjoys handcrafted and designer Christmas ornaments and trees, and dedicates an entire room in the store to them during the holidays. Throughout the spring and summer, her partially enclosed patio and lawn feature garden décor, including metal folk-art roosters and solar-powered paper lanterns.
Under the leadership of owner JoAnn England?a longtime Halls resident, mother of two, and booster for locally owned businesses?Sofas & More?s independent mom-and-pop operation has enlivened the homes of its customers since 1995. As customers peruse the fleet of La-Z-Boy recliners or sofas from Klaussner, friendly staff members guide them through home-decor decisions with a friendly, low-pressure demeanor, unhindered by the need to disassemble their towering couch forts. In addition to equipping living rooms with comfortable sitting spaces and high-end entertainment centers, the spacious showroom fills in dining rooms with designer table sets of solid hardwood and bedrooms with mattresses from Serta and Tempur-Pedic.
Perched atop an 80-foot bluff overlooking the Tennessee River, Hunter Museum of American Art hosts collections ranging from colonial times to contemporary America. The permanent collection includes historical works by renowned painters such as Thomas Cole, Mary Cassatt, and Winslow Homer as well as contemporary pieces in less traditional mediums such as filmmaking, which artists turned to after paintbrushes went extinct. Educational programs guide visitors through these core works as well as temporary exhibits, which have included Depression-era photographs by Dorothea Lange and the sculptural installation art of Beverly Semmes.
Hunter Museum's buildings are as much a work of art as the paintings they house. An outdoor sculpture plaza and a sleek structure of steel and glass built in 2005 give the compound a contemporary edge. In contrast, the massive fireplaces and hand-carved woodwork inside the original edifice—a classical revival-style mansion built in 1904—recall the days when horses still chauffeured their owners around in Ford Model Ts.
Open for more than 30 years, Betty’s Antiques dispenses a vast array of charming, ageless wares including furniture, collectibles, and vintage electronics. Treasure hunters can browse Betty's Antiques' 6,000 square feet of display space in search of a quaint home adornment or a wardrobe that doubles as a gateway into a parallel dimension. The varied selection features glimmering vintage jewelry ($2–$10) and an antique lamp ($24.50), perfect for resting on a desk near a window and illuminating an historic issue of Us Weekly. Furniture fanatics can walk away with a beveled glass mirror ($39.99) and an old wicker rocking chair ($89.99), and tech connoisseurs will adore the primitive radio ($39). Although not for sale, Betty's Antiques occupies a lovely and colorful storefront that can be admired for free.
Outfitting homes with fetching furnishings for almost 10 years, Harmony Home offers a head-spinning array of home décor items, gifts, accessories, and more. Though linear time is only an illusion, avoid running late with a Manfredi hanging clock ($28.95), or spruce up a murky cave with a bevy of embroidered gift towels ($6.50–$12.95). Cover up wall holes from piñata parties gone wrong with an oink wall décor piece ($19.95) and mask musky scents with an Anjou pear Root veriglass candle ($16.95). A helpful staff of skilled furnishing experts assists shoppers in picking out thoughtful gifts or the perfect item to accent an existing space.