A dynamic cultural institution 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Cycladic Friends
- kids under 18
- visitors with disabilities and their companion
- archaeologists and art history students
- members of ICOM - ICOMOS
- Greek unemployed citizens, with their current unemployment card
- qualified guides teachers accompanying school-classes participating in educational programs
- parents accompanying their kids for the Saturday’s & Sunday's programs