For a territory that is so small, Guam has a rich background of cultural and historical significance. In addition, the beauty of the island inspires artists of all kinds to create pieces that are unique to Guam in subject, color and technique.
You may want to do nothing on your Guam vacation besides relax in the sun or play a few rounds of golf, but you’ll be missing out on some amazing experiences if you skip these three museums and miss some of these great painters.
War in the Pacific National Historical Park and Museum
This museum has it all. Interactive exhibits such as touch bins give even children a tangible experience to connect past and present. There are also oral histories and many other displays that paint a picture of World War II and the struggle that occurred over such a tiny little island.
The museum also details Guam’s natural resources and how they are used locally and abroad. Admission to the museum is free, and there are seven different historical sites associated with the park, which are located near the museum and throughout Guam.
Admission to the museum and other sites is free, and purchases made at the museum’s gift shop go directly to the National Park Service to keep the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and Museum up and running.
The Guam Museum was birthed from humble beginnings in an effort to preserve the history of the area’s native people, the Chamorro. By 1948, the museum had its shaky start, but it moved to a more permanent building in 1949, where it remained for 40 years until finally settling in its current location.
The museum preserves not only the way of life practiced by native Guamanians, but it also displays the beauties of the natural environment that has been so vigilantly protected over the years.
Film presentations and discussions are common events at the Guam Museum, as are ‘Movies in the Plaza,’ where more contemporary movies are shown for public entertainment.
Isla Center for the Arts
This art museum is part of the University of Guam, and it captures the people, environment and history of Guam through art. The name itself reflects the varied background of this tiny land, for the word ‘isla’ translates to ‘island’ in Spanish and Chamorro, the native language of Guam.
Local artists – people who know and love Guam – fill this collection with their works. The museum serves as a collection of ancient arts and crafts from Guam and other Pacific islands. Paintings, artifacts, folk art and ceremonial pieces from all over Micronesia fill up the modest museum, while the museum’s staff also tours Guam with other pieces, visiting schools and other organizations to share the history of Guam and the purpose of the museum.
Because of its association with the University of Guam since 1994, the Isla Center for the Arts has seen an increase of 6,000 percent! The museum now sees around 20,000 visitors each year, up from a meager 300+ before the University took over.