The Art of Oceania

  1. The Pacific: Gods And People This British Museum web exhibition gives you fascinating information about 16 artworks from across the Pacific Ocean islands. They include a feather cloak, an inlaid bird bowl and a contemporary painted shield.

  2. Power and Taboo: Sacred Objects from the Pacific The 26 objects in this online tour from the British Museum were collected from 1650 - 1860 before European influences on the islands. There are sculptures of gods covered in bright feathers and etchings from early explorers.

  3. The Native Born The paintings and sculptures of the Australian Aborigines show the bonds between the people and the land. The web exhibit is organized around six different environments found in this region. You'll enjoy the intense colors and shapes of these unique contemporaty artists who follow their ancient cultural traditions.

  4. Polynesian Artwork Indiana University's museum has a wonderful web gallery of sculptures, weapons and ceremonial objects from New Zealand, Tonga and Tahiti.

  5. Melanesian Artwork Indiana University's museum has a fascinating web gallery of sculptures, masks, and ritual objects from the Admiralty Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

  6. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a wonderful feature, the Timeline of Art History. There are hundreds of beautifully illustrated articles on special topics organized chronologically, or from the oldest to the newest, as art developed around the world. Here are topics and artworks of interest for this period of art history.

    • Easter Island: Polynesia The Metropolitan Musem of Art's Timelines of Art History has a very informative site with links to a web exhibit and other web resources on the art of one of the more remote inhabited places in the world.

    • Aboriginal Rock Art The rock art of the Australian Aborigines represents the longest continuously practiced series of artistic traditions anywhere in the world. Here you'll learn about their traditions and view some wonderful images.

    • X-Ray Style Art The "X-ray" tradition in Aboriginal art is thought to have developed around 2000 B.C. and continues to the present day. As its name implies, the X-ray style depicts animals or human figures in which the internal organs and bone structures are clearly visible. Through the creation of X-ray art, Aboriginal painters express their ongoing relationships with the natural and supernatural worlds.

    • Easter Island: Moai Sculptures This Metropolitan web gallery focuses on the giant stone figures, moai, that are some of the most famous Polynesian sculptures. There are photos that show these monumental stone portraits as they sit with their backs to the sea, guarding the local community.

    • Early Maori Woodcarvings Here's another great Metropolitan Museum of Art Timelines of Art History site. The essay is very interesting and the links to other resources are great.

    • Ubir Rock Art The rock art of the Australian Aborigines represents the longest continuously practiced series of artistic traditions anywhere in the world. Here's where you can learn more about it.


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