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Museum of Cycladic Art


2 Hours

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THE MUSEUM A dynamic cultural institute in the centre of Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art focuses on promoting the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with particular emphasis on Cycladic art of the third millennium BC. Since it was founded in 1986 to house the private collection of Dolly and Nikolaos Goulandris, the Museum has expanded significantly and now houses one of the most complete private collections of Cycladic art worldwide, with representative examples of the world renown Cycladic marble figurines. The minimalist marble figurines it is known for, have inspired artists of the 20th century, such as Brancusi, Modigliani, Giacometti, Hepworth and Moore and continue to inspire world-renowned artists such as Ai WeiWei. The Museum’s permanent collections include 3000 Cycladic, ancient Greek, and ancient Cypriot artefacts, witnesses to the cultures that flourished in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean from the fourth millennium BC to approximately the sixth century AD. ΤΗΕ PREMISES The MCA is housed in two separate buildings, which are connected by a glass-roofed corridor: the Main Building, housing the permanent collections and the New Wing, and the Stathatos Mansion, housing the temporary exhibitions. The Main Building, at 4 Neophytou Douka str., was built in 1985 by the architect Ioannis Vikelas to house the permanent collections of the MCA. The builidng has 4 floors with galleries, occupying in total approximately 2,300 sq. m., storerooms, workshops, and offices. On the ground floor of the Main Building one can visit the Cycladiv shop and the Cycladic Café. The Stathatos Mansion, work of the Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller, is one of the most important extant examples of Neoclassical architecture in nineteenth-century Athens. Since 1991 it houses temporary exhibitions and the offices of the museum. The building is accessible both from the corner of Vasilissis Sophias Avenue and Irodotou Street, and from the Main Building, via a closed passageway leading from the atrium. FIRST FLOOR: CYCLADIC ART The Museum of Cycladic Art houses one of the most complete private collections of Cycladic art worldwide, with representative examples of figurines and vases, tools, weapons, and pottery from all phases of the distinctive Cycladic island culture that flourished in the central Aegean during the Early Bronze Age (third millennium BC). Marble carving is the most characteristic product of Cycladic culture, and the abstract forms of its figurines have influenced several twentieth and twenty-first century artists, such as Constantin Brancusi, Amedeo Modigliani, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, and Ai Weiwei. Although Cycladic marble figurines and vases appeal to the modern viewer for their almost translucent whiteness, their creators loved colour and used it liberally on these objects for both practical and symbolic reasons. SECOND FLOOR: ANCIENT GREEK ART – A HISTORY IN IMAGES Ancient Greek Art is renowned for its rich iconography. Gods and heroes, myths, religious ceremonies, aspects of daily life, and even the moment of death are depicted in numerous high quality images on a variety of media. These images provide valuable information about ancient Greek societies, their organization and structure, and the beliefs of people. The exhibition unravels the history of Ancient Greek Art from the 2nd millennium BC to the 4th century AD. By exploring the 350 exhibits of the gallery (vases, sculptures, figurines, metal vessels, coins etc.), visitors can discover how the various artistic forms came into being, how they evolved in time, and how the symbolism of images changed in relation to the social and political conditions of each period. A special section is dedicated to the fascinating topic of ancient technology. With the help of videos and interactive applications, visitors can become familiar with the techniques used in antiquity to manufacture objects like those exhibited in this and other archaeological museums. THIRD FLOOR: CYPRUS – ANCIENT ART AND CULTURE The Thanos N. Zintilis Collection of Cypriot Antiquities, one of world’s most important, was loaned permanently to the Museum of Cycladic Art in 2002. This display, which showcases more than 500 artefacts from the Chalcolithic to the Modern periods, focuses on the great variety of styles and intricate forms of prehistoric and historic pottery, weaving, metalwork, worship, burial practices, foreign relations, and the development of both large-scale, and miniature sculpture. Maps, texts, and multimedia applications richly illustrate and document the archaeology of Cyprus, making the display accessible to children, students, the general public, and scholars alike. FOURTH FLOOR: ANCIENT GREEK ART – SCENES FROM DAILY LIFE IN ANTIQUITY This display transports visitors to the world of antiquity. It is a virtual tour in time and space that begins in the realm of gods and heroes, continues through the world of Eros, follows the activities of everyday men and women in private and public life, explores their religious practices, and ends with the Underworld. 142 ancient artefacts, mostly Classical and Hellenistic (fifth-first centuries BC), are grouped in nine thematic units. Two short videos made for this exhibit with the latest technical innovations complement the display. TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONS The Museum of Cycladic Art’s temporary exhibitions focus on archaeology and modern and contemporary art with the aim to familiarize the public with important twentieth and twenty-first century artists and to explore the relations between ancient cultures and modern and contemporary art. The archaeological exhibitions cover the entire chronological range from prehistory to the end of the ancient world not only in the Aegean and in Greece but also throughout the Mediterranean. The organization of the exhibitions such as: The City beneath the City, Sea Routes ... From Sidon to Huelva. Interconnections in the Mediterranean 16th - 6th c. BC, Magna Graecia. Athletics and the Olympic spirit in the periphery of the Greek world, Eleutherna. Polis - Acropolis - Necropolis, Princesses of the Mediterranean in the Dawn of History, “Figures loved and idealized…” Illustrating poems by C.P. Cavafy, Islands off the Beaten Track , the Eros-Health-Death trilogy, Money and others, have provoked world interest, attracting thousands of visitors. At the same time, exhibitions of modern and contemporary art are organized to develop the dialogue between ancient civilization and important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Struth, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas, Ugo Rondinone, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Ai Weiwei, Cy Twombly and George Condo are among the artists hosted.


+30 21 0722 8321

Opening hours

  • Sunday 11:00 - 17:00
  • Monday 10:00 - 17:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 - 17:00
  • Thursday 10:00 - 20:00
  • Friday 10:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
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