About Michael Hanson Oceanic Art
I am a private dealer of museum-quality Oceanic art committed to scholarship, connoisseurship and integrity. With a master’s degree in Oceanic art history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and 46 extended field collecting trips to the most remote regions of Papua New Guinea I pride myself on research and unparalleled field experience. It was in the villages where literally thousands of objects passed through my hands that I gathered the knowledge and eye for age, authenticity and quality.
I start with the premise that every culture from every corner of the earth in every era had great artists producing wonderful objects. The creative geniuses we recognize, with names like Rembrandt, Picasso, and Van Gogh, were not born solely in Western Europe but lived all over the planet, and the South Pacific has repeatedly been blessed with more than their fair share. These artists lived and died over the centuries on islands, in small villages built on sandy coastlines, facing broad rivers, and nestled, hidden from sight, in the endless green mountain ranges of the interior. The objects these people created were not made for benign aesthetic contemplation but to manifest spirits that ruled every aspect of life—warfare, hunting, fishing, gardening, and even love. The resulting pieces were often passed down through the generations as the material remains and physical evidence of real and mythical pasts, of how they as a people came to be, how they got their name, and how they came to live on a certain piece of ground.
The best of these objects moved beyond the artifact into the realm of art. My goal is to find, document and explain these pieces to honor the beauty, greatness and imagination of the very best art from the South Pacific—Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanesia and especially Papua New Guinea. It is my life’s work to identify this greatness, to give respect to the often unrecognized and underappreciated art objects, to their long dead creators and the belief systems that produced them.
In the last 30 years I’ve encountered tens of thousands of objects, from the mundane to the truly exceptional. Since I stopped field collecting in 2009, I have continued this search for the extraordinary by visiting hundreds of private collections, private museums, auctions, estate sales, galleries, garages and even storage units hoping to discover unknown and unappreciated masterpieces. I strive to acquire and sell the very finest objects with unquestionable authenticity, concrete provenance and of the highest aesthetic quality—which I guarantee for life.
So, I welcome you to peruse my website and call or email me directly with any comments, questions or collecting interests. In addition, if you currently have a collection of older South Pacific objects that you would like to sell or understand their current marketability, I would love to hear from you.
HOW IT WORKS
If you are interested in seeing Oceanic art objects currently for sale, they are in both the NEW ACQUISITIONS and ART OBJECTS sections of my website. The ARCHIVE with over 2000 objects illustrated are all pieces previously sold and no longer available. I have them in this section as a reference to understand the types and quality of objects I buy and sell.
I travel every month attending auctions and visiting private collections trying to acquire top quality South Pacific traditional art objects to post to my website. Normally I post 10 museum-quality items at noon Pacific Coast Time on the last day of each and every month—without fail for over 22 years running. These 10 pieces are the best I have been able to find and are by and large fresh to the market. While I strive to find the best objects I also try to price them reasonably and competitively. I am a specialist in the South Pacific and do not venture outside my area of expertise thus I guarantee the authenticity of all my pieces—100% and forever. So, if you are interested in getting notified the minute I post my New Acquisitions please JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST. You will only receive the one email a month. I do not badger my clients with numerous emails. My time is spent locating, buying, researching and presenting the very best objects possible.
I look forward to hearing from you.