The Penang State Museum houses artefacts and cultural exhibits. The present building, which was formerly the Penang Free School, is actually half a building, the other half of the building having been destroyed by aerial bombing during World War II. A bronze cast of Captain Francis Light, used to stand outside the museum building. It has since returned to Fort Cornwallis where it was first unveiled by the colonial administration. A small museum, it has a fine collection of old photographs, maps and historical records charting the growth of Penang from the days of Francis Light.
The Penang State Art Gallery and the Pinang Gallery showcase the works of local artists. A newer gallery, the USM ABN-Amro Arts and Cultural Centre, located at Beach Street, was established in 2002 to promote art awareness among Penang citizens. Sadly the USM ABN-Amro Arts and Cultural Centre closed down in early December 2006 due to lack of patronage. The Universiti Sains Malaysia Museum and Gallery possesses a large ethnographic and performing arts section with a special exhibition on wayang kulit. The art gallery features works by Malaysian artists. Other establishments promoting art awareness include the Alliance française de Penang and Hotel Bellevue.