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I don’t often get time off during the week. But a rare half-day made it possible for me to see the “Tiki in Orange County” exhibit, curated by Chris Jepsen. I’m so happy I didn’t have to miss it.
I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
From kava bowls and tapa to volcano bowls and aloha prints…
Prints from contemporary tiki artists (yes, that’s Shag on the left).
Tiki in Orange County.
From Eli Hedley (creator of the “beachcomber shack” style) to Bamboo Ben, world’s preeminent tiki bar designer (and Hedley’s grandson).
Tikis in many forms – mugs, lamps, you name it. (I have an idea for making an electric version of those tabletop tiki lamps you see in the upper left corner of the cabinet. I’m still working out how to do it.) Also, I love the fact that fish nets, fish floats, and barrels were arranged on top of the display cases. It really helps create an immersive tiki environment in a temporary exhibit in a university library.
Tiki architecture. The real Pitcairn Motel had a sign just like that in plain view for many years on Harbor Boulevard. (There are some cool tiki-influenced houses in Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, if you know where to look.)
Tiki at Disneyland! You knew there had to be a case of Disney Tiki stuff, right? (I have that Trader Sam’s barrel mug, but in the blue/brown glaze.)
Exotica. The best tiki establishments have good music.
The tiki revival.
What’s a tiki? The more you know…
Birth of the tiki bar. Long story short: when Prohibition ended, a very smart bootlegger had a lot of rum and a need for a new line of work.
The early tiki era.
Tiki Bob, one of the earliest known tiki mugs. (I have the Tiki Bob-inspired “Tiki Pop” mug on the shelf below.)
Disneyland once had a “Barker Bird” outside the Enchanted Tiki Room to promote the show. They had to remove him when he became so popular he created a roadblock (and Adventureland was congested enough already, even back then…).
This bamboo-patterned suit fittingly belongs to Bamboo Ben.
Out in the hallway. Do note the 1960s Enchanted Tiki Room host costume shirt!
I did NOT know there were Tiki Bob salt and pepper shakers.
Spotted in the library lobby on my way out. “Tiki Pop”, which I have, is worth every penny.