The Godfathers of TIKI

Since 1956, one company has been at the epicenter of the mid-century, pop-culture, stylistic phenomenon known as TIKI. If POLYNESIAN GODS, EXOTICA MUSIC, HAWAIIAN HULA GIRLS and TROPICAL COCKTAILS are the lifeblood of the American Tiki movement, OCEANIC ARTS has been its beating heart. With a dream and a handshake, Robert Van Oosting and LeRoy Schmaltz embarked on an extraordinary journey that even they had no idea would go on to influence style around the world and yes, even the finest in American kitsch. From TRADER VICS and DON THE BEACHCOMBER to SEA WORLD and DISNEYLAND, Oceanic Arts has been supplying a tropical backdrop for fantasy and fun. Their hand-made décor has graced the finest restaurants and hotels of the world, as well as the dingiest dives; Glorious theme parks from California to Florida to the cheesiest roadside miniature golf courses. Countless backyard luaus and home tiki bars have been enriched with their wonderful art. No job was too big or too small for this Whittier, California manufacturer. Modestly, they’ve done it all.

Now, after 65 continuous years of creating paradise, Bob and LeRoy – the Godfathers of the American Tiki movement – are retiring, and the institution that is Oceanic Arts has closed its doors.

Peekaboo Gallery is honored to be the custodians of this amazing story. We are thrilled to be working hand in hand with Bob, LeRoy and the staff of Oceanic Arts to celebrate their legacy.

With giving Bob & LeRoy the accolades and tributes they’re due at the forefront of our minds, in the Spring of 2022 Peekaboo Gallery will proudly present an experiential Tiki exhibition featuring the art and works of Oceanic Arts alongside several special events including live music, tropical dancers, panel discussions, an epic tiki bar and much more, all culminating in the ultimate Tiki auction — all designed to give fans a chance to say thank you and Aloha to the gents who started it all! Stay tuned for more info on this in the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, let your celebration start here, with OCEANIC ARTS: The Godfathers of TIKI, a thick, 500+ page volume overflowing with vintage photographs, original artwork and historical context, examining the who, what, where, when and why of perhaps the most influential company behind the mid-century popular culture movement known as “tiki.”

Join us as we discover the intimate behind the scenes story of how this movement started, who were the important players and their total experience during the infancy, golden age, decline and stunning re-birth of one of the most treasured style movements the pop culture world has ever known. Through in-depth interviews, unlocked archives and both vintage and newly shot photography you’ll enjoy unprecedented access with OCEANIC ARTS: The Godfathers of Tiki.

Written by JORDAN REICHEK, veteran animation producer and owner of PEEKABOO GALLERY. Jordan has known BOB and LEROY for over 30 years. He is a student of the vintage Tiki era and maintains a vast collection of vintage Polynesian Pop artifacts

Written as a show-and-tell style scrapbook, this OCEANIC ARTS: The Godfathers of TIKI, weaves a visual narrative of both this small company and the massive movement known as TIKI their work has spawned.

Foreword by celebrated Tiki historian, SVEN KIRSTEN, author of THE BOOK OF TIKI, TIKI MODERN, TIKI POP and THE ART OF TIKI. This privately pressed and distributed book has been printed in limited numbers and is AVAILABLE NOW FOR PRE-ORDER.

BOB and LEROY invite you, the reader to sit back with a few MAI-TAIs as they share their fabulous history and vast archives. This book is their extraordinary story.

OCEANIC ARTS: The Godfathers of TIKI


  • Measures 12″x10″, Perfect-Bound Hardcover, Sewn Binding, Heavy Duty Semi 128 Gsm Art Paper andshrink-wrapped
  • Over 500 full color pages with running interviews and scrapbook captions
  • Thousands of photographs, construction plans, original artwork and a bounty of Tiki era ephemera…most of which has never been previously published
  • Cover art by famed illustrator, TONY STELLA

$175 plus shipping
PRE-SALE $145.00 plus shipping



  • Same as the Standard Edition, with tipped-in (sewn) 115 Gsm vellum signature page, individually signed by BOB VAN OOSTING, LEROY SCHMALTZ and JORDAN REICHEK
  • Shrink-wrapped, cloth covered and metallic stamped hard slipcase.
  • 300 Copies available

$495 plus shipping
PRE-SALE $395.00 plus shipping


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