Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Micronesia, 1600–1800 A.D.


Encompasses present-day Republic of Belau, Guam, Kiribati, the Commonwealth of the northern Marianas, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Nauru

The period from 1600 to 1800 sees the continuing Spanish colonization of Guam and the Mariana Islands as well as sporadic contact between explorers and islanders in the other Micronesian archipelagos. In 1783, the English explorer Henry Wilson is shipwrecked in Belau in the Caroline Islands. Objects collected on the voyage show that the classical traditions of Belaun art are already flourishing during this period. Elsewhere in the Caroline Islands, the ruling chiefs of the Saudeleur dynasty on Pohnpei continue to build onto the megalithic city of Nan Madol. In the years leading up to 1800, however, the city begins to decline and is eventually abandoned around 1820.

    • 1783 English explorer Henry Wilson is shipwrecked in Belau. A published account of Wilson's adventures and Lee Boo, the son of a Belauan chief who Wilson brings back to England, inspire intellectuals of the Romantic movement to view Belau as an earthly paradise.