Cayman celebrates International Museum Day

Bodden Town Primary School Year 2 students visit the museum.

Cayman celebrated International Museum Day on Friday, offering free admission to exhibits and a number of other events celebrating Cayman’s cultural heritage.

While the day has passed, Museum Director Peggy Leshikar-Denton is urging the public to explore Cayman’s cultural legacy with its two new exhibits “Shaped by the Sea: Captain Charles O. ‘Captain Chuckie’ Ebanks” and “1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands.”

The Oxford University expedition occurred 80 years ago and was the first comprehensive natural history survey of the Cayman Islands, while the “Shaped by the Sea” exhibit takes viewers through the life of tourism ambassador Charles Ebanks, who was a model boat builder, fishing rod maker and protector of the environment.

Held every year on or around May 18, International Museum Day was established in 1977 by the International Council of Museums. The aim of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of the importance of museums to cultural exchange. In 2017, more than 36,000 museums participated in the event in 157 countries.

This year’s theme was “Hyperconnected museums: Innovative approach, new publics.” It focuses on the integral role of the internet in the operation of museums across the world, such as face-to-face contact, email and instant messaging.

“The day was free to the public and we had a lineup of wonderful festivities for everyone,” Ms. Leshikar-Denton said.

Darwin Ebanks displays some of his artwork.

Showcased was a variety of interactive local crafts and skills including frying fish, silver thatch plaiting and quilting. Also, several displays such as Cayman sailing vessels, thatch bags and painting and jewelry made from Cayman stones highlighted the cultural heritage.

The International Museum Day Message was read by Shenice McField, events and programs intern at the museum. Curators Christine Rose-Smyth and Ann Stafford introduced the two new exhibits.

Marcie Hydes explains Cayman’s thatch products.