Three Voyages to Paradise Exhibit

Isn’t it a pleasant surprise when you get special bonuses for the general price of admission to an event? That pleasant surprise happened to Alan and I when we visited the Maritime Museum in San Diego. With our price of admission, which was only a mere $14 dollars each, we were able to view an exhibition of original artwork and artifacts of Captain James Cook, Henry Melville and Paul Gauguin.

I enjoy art, all kinds of art. Especially drawing, painting, sculpting and carving. So this exhibition did not disappoint the intermediate art connoisseur in me. (The intermediate classification is thus rated because I love to look at art and say…“Wow!“, “Amazing!” or “Eweww!“, “Gross!” I also have gazed upon many masterpieces, such as original works of Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinici, Angelo, Rodin and Renoir. I just don’t know all the mechanical stuff, like periods, styles and techniques.)

Back to the exhibition…”Cook, Melville and Gauguin: Three Voyages to Paradise”

The best way to describe this tour is to imagine what artistic treasures you might see exploring the Pacific Islands hundreds of years ago. This display was inspired by those sights as seen through the eyes of Cook, Melville and Gauguin.

Included in this exhibit are original paintings by the official expedition artists, William Hodges and John Webber, on Captain Cook’s second and third voyages of discovery. Personal items of Captain Cook, charts, as well as scientific and navigational tools of the time. (Nope, they didn’t have smart phones back then. They used these weird looking metal contraptions to read the stars and the horizon.)

Early Explorer Nav App

Also included in the exhibition are original works of Paul Gauguin. Some never displayed in America before. Oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures, wood block prints and engravings. Most of his wood carvings were of a sensitive nature. In fact I would blush to have one on display in my home. On a plaque below the most “sensitive piece”, it was reported that he said,””I have recently made two wood carvings, which I managed to sell for 300 francs.”

“Well Paul, glad that worked out for you!”

We were not allowed to take photos so I am including some photos of Gauguin’s work from Wikipedia and the nav tool from We did innocently take a few photos of the wood carvings before we saw the sign that said, “No food, no drink and no photos” Enjoy!

Intricate Wood Carvings

If you are in San Diego between now and July 31, 2012 you should go check out this ocean voyage ~ tropical art exhibit. You won’t be disappointed!


7 thoughts on “Three Voyages to Paradise Exhibit

  1. Hi,
    I love going to places like these. How wonderful that these works of art were there for you to look at, they do give us an insight into history that we can only wonder about.

  2. Nah, don’t need to leave home for San Diego since you graciously went for me. Thanks for spending the $ and posting the fab photos…:)
    Love the Gauguin paintings!

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