Tiki Dreams: From Far-Away Fantasy to Pop-Culture Phenomenon
More than Mai Tais and swizzle sticks:
Learn how California’s iconic tiki lounges and restaurants, including many in the Bay Area, inspired a global art and design movement.
On exhibition May 20 through December 31, 2023.
Tiki is an art, design and cultural movement dating back to the pre-WWII era, when visionary California restaurateurs created lavish Tiki Rooms evoking mysterious exotic lands, and which saw growing interest when soldiers brought home souvenirs from the South Pacific, and commercial air travel to Hawaii became common. Much of the history of the Golden Age of Tiki was written in the Golden State, in tiki lounges from Southern California’s Don the Beachcomber to iconic Bay Area outposts like Trader Vic’s and the Tonga Room. Curated by Baby Doe & Otto von Stroheim of Tiki Oasis, this exhibition illuminates California’s leading role in creating and defining Tiki as an American pop-culture phenomenon, showcasing artifacts from Northern California Tiki bars and restaurants, many of which have never been exhibited before. Works by contemporary Tiki artists will also be featured, celebrating the movement’s enduring influence and exciting future.