Located in Long Beach, California, the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum aims to inspire and educate visitors about the Pacific Islands and its many diverse cultures. Visitors can expect unique exhibitions, top-notch educational programs, and a world-class permanent collection which also feature living arts.
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The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum was founded in 2010 from the works collected from the personal collection of Micronesia artwork by Dr. Robert Gumbiner. During the 1970s, Dr. Gumbiner traveled extensively throughout the Pacific Islands providing his healthcare services. During that time, he became fascinated by one of the islands – Yap.
Yap is known as one of the most traditional Micronesian islands and after spending some time there, he grew to love the artwork, cultural, and history of the locals. He began collecting Micronesian artifacts, objects, and artifacts at a rapid rate until he eventually founded the Ethnic Art Institute of Micronesia in 1994 in Yap.
He hoped that this Art Institute would serve as a way to both preserve the pieces he had acquired and educate future artists on the lost artform. Through his vision and passion for the Pacific Islands, Dr. Gumbiner brought traditional Pacific Island artwork and culture to the outside world.
After his tragic passing, Dr. Gumbiner’s vast collection, as well as the funds to found the Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, were generously gifted to the Long Beach community.
Fa’a Samoa: The Samoan Way: This exhibition features 35 artifacts from the private collection of Lisa and Falana’I Papadakis. This collection dates between the 19th and 20th century and focuses on the history and cultural of the Samoan people. The artifacts were rare, traditional pieces with intricate designs and remarkable craftmenship. This exhibition was on display from January through June 2017.
Tattoo sessions with Tricia Allen: This event was hosted in June and featured local tattoo artist, Tricia Allen, giving traditional Pacific Island tattoos to visitors in the gallery.
There are a wide variety of tours available for visitors to choose from, including group rates, add-on activities for children ages K through 12, and student tours. Tours do cost extra and require a reservation.
Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum, 695 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802, website, Phone: 562-216-4170
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