Dr. Charles F. Urbanowicz / Professor Emeritus of Anthropology
California State University, Chico / Chico, California 95929-0400
530-898-6220 [Office: Butte 202]; 530-898-6192 [Department: Butte 311]; 530-898-6143 [FAX]
e-mail: / home page:

[This page printed from]

30 June 2007

This page provides the topics and some references for the lectures I will be providing on the m/s Paul Gauguin for an eleven-day cruise through French Polynesia (June 30, 2007->July 11, 2007); please see Figure I. Also note: this page draws upon a much-more-detailed web page entitled "Various Pacific References" that I have been working on for several years. For many more references, including numerous web pages dealing with various Pacific topics, please consult that particular page:

#1. Who "discovered" the islands of the Pacific and why did Paul Gauguin choose to go to what is now called French Polynesia?

Synopsis: One cannot discuss Gauguin without an understanding of what were the "versions" of Polynesia (and especially French Polynesia) that were presented to the world in the 18th century and 19th century. Where did the original inhabitants of Pacific islands come from and when did they arrive in what is now called French Polynesia? Who were the numerous explorers who placed the islands of the Pacific on world maps? Gauguin's life and his eventual death in the Marquesan islands will also be covered.

#2. Tahiti (or French Polynesia) and Gauguin

Synopsis: Paul Gauguin was born in Paris, France in 1848, and he and his family moved to South American in 1851 (where they remained until 1855). As a young adult, Gauguin saw the parts of the world when he was in the French merchant marine and the French navy. Gauguin married and eventually became a somewhat successful stockbroker (and painter) in Europe. He went to Tahiti in 1891 but it was not exactly what he expected: how did various 18th, 19th, 20th, and 21st Century individuals describe and portray Tahiti and the French Polynesia that Gauguin expected to see? Why did Gauguin leave France and what did he do in French Polynesia? Culture contact and culture change within the overall "Polynesian Triangle" (Hawai'i, New Zealand, and Easter Island) will also be discussed.

#3. The art of Paul Gauguin and other 20th century events.

Synopsis: Gauguin was disappointed at his initial introduction to French Polynesia but his paintings provided the world into a new vision of "reality" as viewed through his eyes. As we approach Bora Bora (and Tahiti proper) mention will also be made of World War II events in the Pacific and American influences on French Polynesia as well as the "Bobcat Project" on Bora Bora. The significance of the most decisive events of World War II in the Pacific Theater of Operations will also be covered (including events dealing with the USS Arizona and USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor, Hawai'i).  

Robert Aldrich, 1990, The French Presence In The South Pacific 1842-1890 (Honolulu: The University of Hawai'i Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Richard Bretell et al., 1988, The Art of Paul Gauguin (Washington: The National Gallery of Art). [Self-evident from title.]

Françoise Cachin, 1988, Gauguin (Flammarion: 1990 translation from the French by Bambi Bollard. [Self-evident from title.] 

Françoise Cachin, 1989, Gauguin: The Quest For Paradise (NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1992 translation from the French by I. Mark Paris). [Self-evident from title.] 

Thomas N. Carmichael, 1971, The Ninety Days: Five Battles That Changed The World October 1942-January 1943 [Guadalcanal, El Alamein, Operation Torch, Stalingrad, The Barents Sea] (Connecticut: Konecky & Konecky). [Self-evident from title} Interesting book that contextualizes major battles of this time period, including, obviously, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.]

Maria Costantino, 1994,Paul Gauguin (Greenwich, CT: Brompton Books). [Self-evident from title.]

M-T. & B.D. Danielsson, 1973, Gauguin In Tahiti (Paris: Musée de l'Homme). [Self-evident from title.]

Edwin N. Ferdon, 1981, Early Tahiti As The Explorers Saw It 1767-1797 (Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Edwin N. Ferdon, 1993, Early Observations of Marquesan Culture 1595-1813 (Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Paul Gauguin, 1897 [1901], Noa Noa (Translated from the French by P.F. Theis) (NY: The Noonday Press, 1951). [Gauguin's published journal of his initial stay in Tahiti, 1891-1893.]

Pola Gauguin, 1937 [1988 edition], My Father Paul Gauguin (NY: Hacker Art Books). [Self-evident from title.]

Michael Gibson, 1992, Paul Gauguin (NY: Rizzoli International Publiations, Inc.). [Self-evident from title: brief ssays and 128 illustrations.]

Irving Goldman, 1970, Ancient Polynesian Society (University of Chicago Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Tony Horwitz, 2002, Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before (NY: Henry Holt and Company). [Self-evident from title.]

Patrick Vinton Kirch, 2000, On The Road Of The Winds: An Archaeological History of the Pacific Islands before European Contact (University of California Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Guiseppe Marchiori, 1967 [1968 translation], Gauguin: The Life and work of the Artist Illustrated With 80 Colour Plates (London: Thames and Hudson). [Self-evident from title.]

James A. Michener, 1947, Tales of the South Pacific (Macmillan Edition). [Self-evident from title: Pulitzer Prize winner in 1948.]

Colin Newbury, 1980, Tahiti Nui: Change and Survival in French Polynsia 1767-1945 (Honolulu: The University of Hawai'i Press). [Self-evident from title.]

Bronwen Nicholson, 1995, Gauguin and Maori Art (New Zealand: Auckland City Art Gallery). [Self-evident from title.]  

Douglas L. Oliver, 1989, The Pacific Islands (Third Edition). (Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii). [Self-evident from title.]

Ingo F. Walther, 2004, Paul Gauguin 1848-1903: The Primitive Sophisticate (Cologne, Germany: Taschen). [Self-evident from title.]

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FIGURE I: 30 June 2007 -> 11 July 2007

To go to the home page of Urbanowicz, please click here;

to the Department of Anthropology;

to California State University, Chico.

[~984 words]

© Copyright 2007; All Rights Reserved Charles F. Urbanowicz

30 June 2007 by CFU

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