In the mid-20th century, a cultural fad swept through the United States as Polynesian life became a subject of fantasy for many Americans. This led some to even adopt the Polynesian style and attitude, creating a Tiki trend that is now being explored at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.
This cultural museum dedicates itself to the investigation of indigenous cultures from around the world. Its latest exhibition is called “Tiki Pop, the Polynesian Paridise” and it reveals the Polynesia-inspired architecture, clothing styles and decorations that invaded American homes, bars and restaurants during the 1950s and 1960s.
The Tiki trend also implied a mentality of joie de vivre that its purveyors embodied. With Maori sculptures, Tonga bowls, decorative ashtrays and other elements of interior decoration, they attempted to inject their lives with a little exoticism.
Embracing the kitsch nature of Tiki movement of the 1950s, the exhibition itself is decorated with fake palm trees and a tropical soundtrack. The exhibit also illustrates the sources of the Tiki trend, primarily tied to travel stories from Bougainville and Cook. These stories were then translated to film, music, television shows and other art forms.
Guests staying at the Hôtel Louvre Marsollier can discover for themselves the lively tales of Tiki mania that spread during the Nifty Fifties and the Swinging Sixties in the U.S. The Musée du Quai Branly is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, not far away from the hotel.
Approximately 400 objects have been gathered from private American collections for the “Tiki Pop” exhibit, so visitors should not miss the chance to witness a quirky part of pop culture history. The exhibit runs from June 24 until September 29, 2014.