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Top 10 Museums

  • Conservationism, a continuous respect for history, the preservation of natural resources, a dignifies appreciation of all human and animal life; all this and more, are some of the virtues of the Caymanian People. They are also a considerable part of their livelihood, their national culture, and the very thing that defines them.
  • The only way that these virtues come alive and are passed down to future generations is through the Arts, Culture and the conservation of it. No matter how small the Caymans might seem, it is filled with museums, shows, exhibits, art on the streets, traditional renditions of folklore, etc. This is an assorted list of museum options. 

By Ewan McGordon | Updated: 4 May 2019

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PEDRO ST. JAMES CASTLE

Savannah, Grand Cayman

The Birthplace of democracy in the Cayman Islands. Before it became this historical museum, it was the house of plantation owner William Eden; then, it became the meeting place of the first elected parliament in 1831. The abolition of slavery happened here as well. This landmark holds itinerant and permanent exhibits, most of the time about history and the identity of the Islands. They also have a visitor’s centre, a theatre, a gift shop and a café. Pedro St. James Castle, like other historic landmarks in Grand Cayman, is available for wedding receptions or social events. If you want to know about Cayman Islands history, this should be your first visit. Pedro St. James Castle


NATIONAL GALLERY OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

Esterly Tibetts Highway, Grand Cayman

Courtesy of National Gallery of the Cayman Islands

Preserving, managing and exhibiting the National Art Collection is their primary goal. Centered on the quality of Caymanian artwork; they also possess universal classics and additional modern works from abroad, as their main collections on exhibit. But mostly, the Gallery focuses on the oeuvre of Caymanian artists. Through a variety of different media, artists have captured extraordinary and ordinary aspects of life in the Cayman Islands. Currently, they have uploaded most of their collection online. National Gallery of the Cayman Islands


KENNEDY GALLERY/CAYMAN FINE ART, FRAMING AND PRINTING

Seven Mile Beach

Courtesy of Kennedy Gallery

This place is in itself a Gallery, and a supply store for artists. One of the most extensive collections on local artists such as Joanne Sibley, Lorna Griggs and John Clark, being the most famous; all of their works can be seen and bought at the Kennedy Gallery. You can purchase originals, prints, cards, silks and more. If you are an artist or an art enthusiast, you can also order some custom framing or pick up some supplies. Kennedy Gallery


CAYMAN ISLANDS NATIONAL MUSEUM

George Town

This is one of the few surviving, 19th-century buildings that endured countless hurricanes throughout Cayman Islands’ history. For over 80 years, it materialized as a welcome sight to returning turtlers and seamen; a lantern was raised every evening on the flagpole before the first lighthouse was built. Important proclamations were made on these front steps. Since 1979, it became the Cayman Islands National Museum. It collects, preserves, interprets and exhibits all of the natural, cultural and art history of the Caymans. Itinerant Collections include: The Ira Thompson Collection (ancient manuscripts, prints, timepieces, musical instruments, fossils, and old utensils); the Natural History Collection (reflecting a long tradition of scientific studies and expeditions collected from the Caymans); The Cultural History Collection (showcases cultural treasures through physical objects); and The Art Collection (an extensive body of work depicting Caymanian natural and cultural life by local and international artists). Cayman Islands National Museum


LITTLE CAYMAN MUSEUM

Blossom Village, Little Cayman

Little Cayman Museum’s collections mostly deal with archaeological and anthropological eclectic artefacts that tell the Island’s extensive history. An experience most understood if you experience Little Cayman’s Diving, Beaching and other tourist attractions. Linton Tibbetts (or Mr T) was responsible for acquiring and donating the present collections in exhibit. Most museums in the Caymans have evolved to solid institutions originated from personal collections of Caymanian personalities. Little Cayman Museum


MISS LASSIE. ARTS AND CULTURAL PRESERVATION

Cayman National Cultural Foundation

Courtesy of CNCF

Also known as “Miss Lassie’s House”, the site is a tribute to Gladwyn K. Bush (also known as Miss Lassie) a local painter of “intuitive” or “naif” art. The collection of some of her original works, bare fruit to 125 original pieces. Miss Lassie began painting at the age of 62 after what she named a “visionary experience”. She started to experiment on not just canvas, but walls, windows and furniture. She was also awarded an MBE during the Queen’s Birthday celebrations on Grand Cayman and has been featured in many prominent art books from editors like Benedikt Taschen, Phaidon Press and Themes and Hudson. Indeed, one of the most original art spots from the Cayman Islands. Cayman National Cultural Foundation


CAYMAN MOTOR MUSEUM

West Bay

Not your typical kind of museum. Andreas Ugland, a Norwegian businessman, had the vision for a local showroom to exhibit his vast collection of exotic, rare and classic motorcars and motorbikes. It features the first car ever to be brought to the Caymans: a 1905 Cadillac bought in Havana in 1914. Ferraris, Rally Cars, Porsches, Bentleys, and many other vehicles are available for the showing. There’s also motor-inspired artworks and prints, memorabilia and much more. Not to mention: an original Batmobile! Cayman Motor Museum


THE RITZ-CARLTON ART GALLERY

West Bay Road

The exhibitions here focus mostly on the work of local artists. Usually, there is a mixture of professional artists, amateurs or new and up-and-coming talents looking to break in the scene. Frequenting artists include Avril Ward, Husbands and wife Nasaria Suckoo Cholette and Randy Cholette, and C.E. Whitney. In most of these, there are vibrant coast inspired colours, maritime culture and a great luminescence. The Cayman Islands certainly has put a mark on their visions. The Ritz-Carlton Art Gallery


CAYMAN BRAC MUSEUM

Stake Bay, Cayman Brac

Courtesy of Tripadvisor

This is the oldest Museum in the Cayman Islands. Built-in 1933 as a small structure. Before it was a Museum, it used to be a bank, a customs office, a treasury and a post office. The exhibits show an impressive collection of objects and artifacts that tell the tale of how life evolved in the Islands. For instance: the history of shipbuilding, turtling, destructive weathers or natural catastrophes and old-time living. Cayman Brac Museum


BODDEN TOWN ART SHOP

Bodden Town

Courtesy of Pixels

If you want to take home some affordable, locally produced artwork or crafts; then this is the spot for you. Bodden Town Art Shop focuses on the promotion of local artists, and serve as a connection between the artists and the visitors of the Island. Many of these craftsmen and women come from traditional Caymanian techniques and have been working at it for years. Buy from beautiful art paintings, prints, engravings, sculptures; to local produce like Jams or Jellies. Why buy a souvenir when you can take home something more personal and meaningful that reminds you of your trip to the Cayman Islands? Bodden Town Art Shop

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