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  • Writer's pictureShani

Exploring the National Gallery of Jamaica: A Journey Through Jamaican Art

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

Welcome to my blog post about exploring the National Gallery of Jamaica! The purpose of this post is to share my experience and provide information about the gallery's history, location, admission fees, and displays. I hope this post inspires you to visit and appreciate Jamaica's dynamic art scene.

Jamaican travel blogger sitting outside the Jamaica national gallery by a statue of reggae legend Bob Marley

We're off to another adventure! Well, an art adventure! As the title states, we will be heading to the National Gallery of Jamaica today! It was a busy and extremely hot day with several errands to complete on my to-do list. I decided I had to make time for a little adventure and visiting the National Gallery of Jamaica had been on my bucket list for quite a while. I love art and have always seen and heard of several art displays by the national gallery. My mother has expressed her desire to visit the gallery and view the diverse artworks for a long time. Although she couldn't join me on the excursion, I still went to explore it with a friend.


The National Gallery of Jamaica was founded in 1974 and is recognized as the oldest and largest public art museum in the English-Speaking Caribbean. Can you believe that?!

The gallery features an extensive collection of Jamaican art, as well as a blend of Caribbean and global artworks.

A blend of permanent and changing exhibitions is on display. Regularly, there are temporary displays that take place which highlight different aspects of Jamaican art and feature both well-known and up-and-coming artists. The National Gallery of Jamaica provides various educational opportunities such as artistic sessions tailored for children, talks and tours accompanied by guides.

National Gallery of Jamaica sign


The National Art Gallery is located on the Kingston, Waterfront, specifically Block 3, Kingston Mall, 12 Ocean Boulevard.

Finding the art gallery wasn't a challenge and parking was fairly easy but I guess it all depends on the time of day you go, as it is Downtown. There are available parking spaces along the sides or close to the gallery within the vicinity.

Fun Fact: There is another National gallery located on the west end of the island at the Montego Bay Cultural Center.

Admission Fees

The entry fee was pretty reasonable . Adults are charged $ 400, senior citizens $ 200 and

children & students with ID are allowed free entry.

Opening Hours

Their opening hours at the time were Tuesdays to Thursdays 10:30 a.m. to 4 pm, Fridays-10 a.m. to 4 pm, and Saturdays-10 a.m. to 3 pm.


The gallery is a diverse and intriguing experience. You will observe a wide range of themes, including religion, slavery, and even old-time electronic devices. As you explore the different rooms, you will encounter a range of art forms, including paintings, sculptures, and mixed media pieces. Each artwork is labeled with the artist's name, the title of the piece, materials used, and it's dimensions.

Inside the National Gallery of Jamaica looking at art

One of my favorite rooms in the gallery was the Edna Manley Memorial Collection. Seeing Edna Manley's pieces in the gallery's collection reminded me of studying her work in high school art class. Below are two examples of her work.

Edna Manley Collection at the National Gallery- Moon

Edna Manley Collection at the National Gallery-Negro Aroused

The works on display were impressive and beautifully crafted, showcasing the talent of the Jamaican artist. As you make your way through the gallery, you will feel transported into different time frames and experience different emotions. Many of the pieces are out of the box and bring a sense of curiosity and at times eeriness.

National Gallery of Jamaica showing colourful art of red and yellow fabric

I recommend that time be taken to appreciate and fully absorb the artwork on display, as the experience is not meant to be rushed. It can feel therapeutic to walk and soak in each artwork. The gallery is set up in a way that makes you feel like you're navigating through a maze. Just when you think you've seen it all, one room leads to the next. With so much to take in, it's important to give yourself time to fully immerse yourself in the gallery's art.

The National Gallery of Jamaica is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the vibrant and diverse art scene of Jamaica. With its rich collection of artwork, the gallery offers a unique insight into the country's history, culture, and artistic heritage.

Painting at the national gallery of Jamaica

Overall my visit to the National Gallery of Jamaica was a memorable one. We have so many talented artists that showcase their pieces over the years and if you are someone who appreciates art or would love to learn more about our history then go visit the gallery! This is an activity you can do with your family, group of friends, or partner, or if you just decide to do a solo day trip.

The gallery has a vast collection of art pieces beyond what's shown in this post. I highly suggest you pay a visit and view the other collections. Please let me know what your experience was like, I would love to hear all about it!

Jamaican Travel blogger Sashani Waysome at the National gallery of Jamaica

To learn more about the National Gallery of Jamaica, including upcoming exhibitions and events, visit their website at

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