Polynesia, 1600–1800 A.D.

  • Polynesia, 1600–1800 A.D.



In Polynesia, the years 1600 to 1800 witness a continuation of earlier artistic traditions as well as the first intensive contact with European explorers. Pivotal events during this period are the three voyages of the English explorer James Cook between 1768 and 1780. During these voyages, Cook not only encounters many Polynesian peoples and cultures for the first time but makes the first large-scale collections of Pacific objects to be brought back to Europe. Collections made by Cook in Hawai’i, Tahiti, Tonga, Easter Island, and the Austral, Cook, and Marquesas Islands show that the classical Polynesian artistic traditions were already flourishing throughout the region.


“Polynesia, 1600–1800 A.D.” In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=09&region=ocp (October 2003)