June 5, 2006

Papua New Guinea Tikis at Stanford University

Filed under: Art,My Travels,San Francisco,Tiki — Humuhumu @ 3:57 pm
Tiki "Thinker" at Stanford University
Tiki "Thinker" at Stanford University

While making plans to visit the Rodin sculpture garden at Stanford University a couple weeks back, I made a startling discovery… the Cantor Arts Center, which manages the Rodin sculptures, also has a second, separate sculpture garden on the other side of campus — and this one is all art from Papua New Guinea.

In 1994, several artists from Papua New Guinea were brought to Stanford to create carvings on-site. The sculptures are all clustered in a wooded area at the corner of Santa Teresa and Lomita. At the center are a cluster of poles carved from trees that are 20-30 feet tall, surrounded by still-untouched trees. There are two large slit drums on the ground, ready to be thumped. To one side, there are some painted poles, and some great tikis. To the south is a large, striking carving with bird wings outstretched, and to the north are a variety of lovely stone carvings.

The Cantor Arts Center museum also has a small collection of Oceanic art, but the real treasure is this somewhat-hidden sculpture garden. Just a short ways down the road from Stanford, right on El Camino Real, is the Palo Alto Trader Vic’s; while this Trader Vic’s pales in comparison to other TVs, it does house an impressive private collection of Papua New Guinea tikis and art, making a visit to both spots in one trip work well.

I’ve been a couple times now, and naturally, I’ve taken a bunch of pictures. You can see them at Humuhumu’s Life in Photos, or in a thread at Tiki Central.

6 Responses to “Papua New Guinea Tikis at Stanford University”

  1. Ned Says:

    Not sure if this has already been posted, but if you are into Oceanic art the DeYoung in Golden Gate Park has a fairly extensive exhibit. Although I did hear there was some questions about how they obtained the artifacts. If the exhibit is still in swing, there are some interesting pieces from Papua New Guinea.

  2. mary Says:

    Just stumbled on your website. Great photo…recently visited this display and it is amazing. The totems are fabulous. Kind of wish the area was better cared for although it is sort of woven into the campus so maybe that is okay? hmmm. thanks for the info!

  3. Humuhumu Says:

    Yes, I’ve heard wonderful things about the DeYoung — there’s a long checklist of things I’d like to see at Golden Gate Park, so I’m hoping to spend some time there in the near future.

  4. Humu Kon Tiki » Blog Archive » 6th Annual Tiki Central Tiki Crawl: Day One Says:

    [...] Papua New Guinea Sculpture Garden, Palo Alto This was the perfect place to kick off the festivities. Most people were seeing this spot for the first time — it’s a cluster of tikis carved by Papua New Guinea artists in 1994 at the invitation of the Cantor Arts Center. It is situated in a shady stand of trees on the northish side of the Stanford University campus in Palo Alto. You can see my crawl pictures here, here is its entry in Critiki and I also profiled it earlier in this Humu Kon Tiki post and this thread on Tiki Central. Hanford chats at Trader Vic’s Palo Alto [...]

  5. Ancient Clown Says:

    This is a fascinating site…I have a deep interest in totems from ALL cultures. Currently in Victoria, B.C. but I’m very glad I travelled here. Please feel free to visit and explore Ancient’s History, and to share anything of value you may find.
    your humble servant,
    Ancient Clown

  6. Humu Kon Tiki » Blog Archive » Papua New Guinea Art in Menlo Park Says:

    [...] Papua New Guinea Tikis at Stanford University [Humu Kon Tiki] [...]

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Humuhumu is the creator of several tiki websites. She is a designer and programmer based out of San Francisco.

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