Founded in 1927, the museum was created by Anna Rice Cooke, a woman born into a prominent missionary family on O'ahu. Rice Cooke began the museum with the art collection she and her husband owned, bought primarily from Yeun Kwock Fong Inn, a Chinese furniture maker and art importer in Honolulu. The museum is located on land that was originally the Cookes' house on the island.
Originally founded as the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the museum combined with the Contemporary Museum in 2011-12 and was renamed the Honolulu Museum of Art in the process.
Beginning in 1977, the Doris Duke Theatre has been showing films and concerts as a portion of the Honolulu Museum of Arts programs. More information is available at their website.
A monthly art party organized by young volunteers and hosted the final Friday of every month at the Honolulu Museum of Art from 6:00pm to 9:00pm.
Funded by the Bank of Hawaii, the Honolulu Museum of Art is open on the third Sunday of every month, with special activities and programs.