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Tiki Pop Exhibition

Tiki Pop

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Why you will love it?

Exploring the Quai Branly’s exhibition Tiki Pop is to re-live the gradual development of the Tiki trend within the USA: one filled with escapism, romance and dreams of exotic lands. From early reports of the first explorers in Polynesia to the swinging Tiki bars of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Tiki Pop showcases this historical Tiki love affair through images, film, artifacts, photos and even an authentic Tiki Bar, recreated just for the exhibition. Enjoy! Parisianist.

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About this place

37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris
Line 6 - Bir Hakeim Line 8 - Ecole Militaire Line 9 - Iéna / Alma Marceau
Line C - Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel

Sunday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm
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Monday : Closed Tuesday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Wednesday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm Thursday : 11:00 am - 21:00 pm Friday : 11:00 am - 21:00 pm Saturday : 11:00 am - 21:00 pm Sunday : 11:00 am - 19:00 pm

Our Insiders' Article


The pop-culture movement of Tiki in the USA is one filled with escapism, romance and dreams of exotic lands and warm oceans. For modern-day North Americans, there is not a significant amount of time spent pondering where this fantasy world of Tiki originated. And for most, the answer is rather surprising. From early reports of the first explorers in Polynesia to the swinging Tiki bars of the 1950’s and 1960’s, Tiki Pop takes you on a historical love affair between the exotic Southern Seas and the American-dream.   


The first encounters of the Western World with the paradises of the Southern Seas came in the 18th century. Explorers were scouring the seas in search of riches and undiscovered naval passages for their monarchs. What they found simultaneously though was paradise on earth: lush, unspoiled lands with inhabitants who embodied carefree mentalities towards life and sex. Famous explorers such as Cook and Bougainville kept travelogues of their journeys, which became widely read at that time and began to spark the imaginations of those in the Western World of this distant tropical land.

Parisianist Fast Fact: To Polynesian islanders, the Tiki itself was a demi-god: half god, half man. 

American Dream

Americans in the 1950’s had it all. Family, food, home, but above all, stress. Americans were adhering to a strict work ethic to achieve and maintain “the good life” and as a result, searched for an outlet to “get away” and forget the day’s stresses. With the rise of popularity in novels set in the Southern Seas, and Hollywood producers eager to jump on a new trend, Tiki soon exploded in America. Polynesia-inspired blockbusters such as The Mutiny On The Bounty infiltrated the silver screen and the Tiki trend extended to bars, restaurants, motels, bowling halls and more. It was in these environments that the puritan American of the time could be swept far away from the day’s stresses and into the primitive nature of the Southern Seas.

Parisianist Fun Fact – Catalina Island (off the coast of Los Angeles) doubled as Tahiti in the film The Mutiny On The Bounty. After the filming, part of the set became “Christian’s Hut” – a Polynesian-style bar that opened successive locations in L.A. and Waikiki.

What to See

Exploring the Quai Branly’s exhibition Tiki Pop is to re-live the gradual development of the Tiki trend within the USA. You can see excerpts of travel journals of early South Seas explorers, old romance novels set in Polynesia, Tiki guitars, Tiki-inspired movies, and images of real Southern Sea’s woman in contrast with American Tiki-waitresses. The best part? Stepping inside an actual Tiki Bar, recreated just for the exhibition. But don’t get too excited, this bar only serves imaginary cocktails.

Parisianist Tiki Tip: Although nowhere near the height of its former popularity, Americans are still drawn to the carefree lifestyle and escapist dream of Tiki with numerous Tiki Bars still popular in the USA and around the world. But considering this exhibition is going to have you craving a Mai-Tai, head directly to our favorite Tiki Bar right here in Paris: Dirty Dick.

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