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Joni Stone   Meet Joni, one of our travel experts for French Polynesia.

Born in the Southwest, raised in the Northwest, I have called the South Pacific home for nearly 30 years. I founded J2 Travels in the late 1990s to share our knowledge with other like minded travelers – remembering always, that the joy is in the journey. I currently live on Maui, I'm endorsed by IATA, and am a member of the Fiji, Tahiti and New Zealand Tourism Boards.

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Paul Gauguin Museum

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Paul Gauguin Museum - Paul Gauguin Museum.

This museum/memorial to Paul Gauguin, the French artist who lived in the Mataiea district from 1891 until 1893, owns a few of his sculptures, woodcarvings, engravings, and a ceramic vase. It has an active program to borrow his major works, however, and one might be on display during your visit. Otherwise, the exhibits are dedicated to his life in French Polynesia. It's best to see them counterclockwise, starting at the gift shop (which sells excellent prints and reproductions of his works). The originals are in the first gallery. An interesting display in the last gallery shows who owns his works today. The museum has a lagoonside restaurant, although most visitors have lunch at the nearby Restaurant du Musée Gauguin, at PK 50.5.

The museum is adjacent to the lush Harrison W. Smith Jardin Botanique (Botanical Gardens), which was started in 1919 by Harrison Smith, an American who left a career teaching physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and moved to Tahiti. He died here in 1947. His gardens, which now belong to the public, are home to a plethora of tropical plants from around the world. This is the wettest part of Tahiti, so bring an umbrella.

See thumbnails of all photos for this point of interest.

Video of Paul Gauguin Museum

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It's open daily from 9-5pm.


This museum houses exhibits that are dedicated to Gauguin's life in French Polynesia. You can see sculptures, wood carvings, and engravings. The museum has an active program to borrow his major works.