The Oceania collections


The collections from Oceania and Insulindia originate in the voyages of discovery from the late 18th century and early 19th century (Bougainville, Freycinet, Dumont d'Urville, Collet, Tournefort etc.) supplemented throughout the 20th century by scientific expeditions organised by museums and research institutes.

The Marquesas Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia – territories which have been or are still strongly influenced by France – form part of these flagship assemblages, constituted of ancient pieces, typologies of a variety of objects and supplemented by a large quantity of visual documentation (photos, drawings and archives). But the museum also holds an unexpectedly rich collection of items from New Guinea. The Insulindia collections are represented by significant assemblages of personal ornaments, stones with funerary or prestige connections (Sumatra, Sumba, Nias, Borneo, Philippines etc.) and remarkable Batak objects (Sumatra). Contemporary creation is represented by a group of acrylic paintings on canvas from the Central Australian Desert acquired from the 1990s onwards.


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