The Honolulu Academy of the Arts (HAA) is the foremost art museum in Hawaii, with a large and wide-ranging permanent collection (containing over 60,000 items), with a special emphasis on Asian art. The museum began in the early 20th century with the private art collection of Anne Rice Cooke, the daughter of a prominent local missionary family. With the aid of two of her daughters and a local schoolteacher, Cooke catalogued the works in her collection, obtained a charter from the Territory of Hawaii, and donated her property as well as an endowment for the construction of the museum. The museum opened in 1927. HAA is the only museum in Hawaii accredited by the American Association of Museums, and its facility is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Since 1927, the museum has grown steadily, adding to the original gallery a library, education wing, gift shop and café, contemporary gallery, theater, and a space for studio classes. The museum continues to develop its permanent collection, and maintains a busy schedule of exhibitions, many of which deal with Asian art of all kinds, from Islamic art of the Middle East to Southeast Asian and Oceanic artifacts. The intersection of Eastern and Western cultures is also a commonly recurring theme in exhibitions at the Academy.
Honolulu Academy of the Arts Information
- Public Transportation: Good (served by buses 1, 2, 13, B & 1L; Waikiki Trolley Red Line and Roberts Hawaii Holoholo Trolley)
- Handicapped Accessiblity: Good
- Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4:30 pm; Sunday, 1-5 pm; Mondays closed; Second Thursday of every month, 10 am-9 pm; Closed New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
- Admission: $10 General Admission; $5 Students/Seniors/Military; Free for Academy members, children 12 and under, and Hawaii teachers (out of state teachers $5)
- Free Day: First Wednesday of every month; Third Sunday of every month, 11 am-5 pm; First Sunday of every month free for all military personnel and families.
- Tours: The Academy offers an audio tour by podcast in both English and Japanese. Guided tours available Tues-Sat, 10:15 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm; Sunday, 1:15 pm; all tours are free with the price of admission.
- Membership: Individual annual membership is $55 ($90 for 2 years), $40 for non-Hawaii residents (including non-US residents), $20 students, $95 for families. Benefits include free admission, Academy Shop and Café discounts, discounted admission to film screenings and musical performances, exhibit previews, and more. Further benefits available with larger annual contribution.