Oceanic Art 

The Crocker’s collection of sculpture, pottery, textiles, and paintings from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, brings together work form many geographic and cultural regions. The collection spans four continents and features a wide array of objects that demonstrate the craftsmanship, histories, and rich traditions of these artists and cultures.

About the Oceanic Art Collection

Made up of thousands of islands spread throughout the Pacific Ocean, Oceania and island Southeast Asia are home to hundreds of distinct languages and cultures. Tied to the diverse geography of the region, which includes dense rainforests, mountainous regions, sandy atolls, and the sea itself, the visual cultures of Oceania hold strong connections to place and materials, such as wood, fiber, feathers, and shells. The Crocker began collecting work from Oceania with the acquisition of a large gift in 2009 that included examples of sculpture from the Asmat people, who occupy the southern coastal rainforest of the island of Papua New Guinea, and the Abelam people from the more mountainous highlands. These works included monumental bis poles made for funerary feasts, and ceremonial shields and drums. The collection has grown to include figures representing fertility and ancestral power, elaborate featherwork pieces, decorative paddles, canoe prows, costumes, ceremonial staffs, and other architectural fragments from areas including what is now Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands.