Hawaii State Art Museum

hawaii state art museum

About Hawaii State Art Museum


Host to one of Oahus finest art collections, the Hawaii State Art Museum is free and open to the public. Admission is always free. Located a few steps from the Iolani Palace in Downtown Honolulu, the HiSAM offers a unique collection of Hawaiiana artwork, including paintings, sculpture, 3-D art, pottery, and more. HiSAM features a permanent collection with rotating exhibits of work by acclaimed Hawaii artists.

Every first Friday of the month, HiSAM hosts an evening event of live music and exhibit launches for everyone to enjoy. If youre in Honolulu on a First Friday, remember to visit the Hawaii State Art Museum for a night of fun (and free!) entertainment.

Hours: Monday Saturday, 11am 2pm
Free admission
Sorry, flash photography is not allowed.


Situated in the No. 1 Capitol District Building in Honolulu, HiSAM first opened its doors to the public on November 3, 2002. However, the building itself is almost a century old. In the late 1920s, local architects Walter L. Emory, Marshall H. Webb, and San Diegos Lincoln Rogers designed the building as a YWCA. (Emory and Marshall also designed the Hawaii Theater.) The buildings architectural style is Spanish-Mission, reminiscent of that eras sophisticated, timeless aesthetic.

In 1987, the Hemmeter Investment Company purchased the No. 1 Capitol District Building, spending about $30 million in renovations soon thereafter. The Sculpture Garden at HiSAM debuted in May 2012 and was created around the buildings former swimming pool area. The HiSAM now has three galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden, where visitors can roam after a bite to eat from Downtown @ HiSAM, the caf located inside on the first level.

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: Oahu
  • Amenities: Caf, gift shop, on-site security guard, restrooms, paid public and street parking available nearby, bus stop across the street.
  • Insider Tip: Look for Herb Kanes enormous, mesmerizing paintings of Hawaiian history and Polynesian voyagers. Herb Kawainui Kane is one of Hawaiis most legendary, influential artists of all time.
  • Fun Fact: The Hawaii State Art Museum is the "People's Museum" and belongs to everyonethats why admission will forever be free.
  • What to Expect: Quiet, spacious galleries where the works of prominent Hawaii artists are on display. Business men and women on their lunch breaks at the museum cafe, Downtown @ HiSAM. Family festivals and events on a regular basis. School children and chaperones on a fi