Michael Hamson

Best Primitive Art Gallery, August 2011

The collecting of oceanic art is a rarefied world, and not because of the cost of the pieces—no other museum-quality art is as affordable. Michael Hamson is happy to share his knowledge of the folk art of the South Pacific from the gallery inside his Malaga Cove home, where he devotes two rooms to carvings from New Guinea, clubs from Fiji, totems from New Ireland, and other primal objects. The pieces have a more ethereal and less brooding quality than their African counterparts, which is one of the reasons he focused his graduate studies on Oceania after discovering the region between stints as an oil tanker bridge officer. Keep an eye on his Web site at the beginning of each month. That’s when he posts the new items, and collectors from around the country are poised to snap them up.