The Museum of Cycladic Art has been an Athens touchstone for more than 30 years, but only recently has it become the kind of spot that art world insiders make a point of visiting—and, more often than not, Instagramming. The resurgence began in the spring of 2017, when the contemporary art fair Documenta, which usually takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany, was held in Athens for the first time. It was a game changer for the city, which is taking baby steps back into global markets. (Athens is newly accessible from New York City via a nonstop flight on Emirates.) The move helped push cultural institutions like the Onassis Foundation and the Acropolis Museum into the international spotlight.
In 1986 the Museum of Cycladic Art was founded by art collector Dolly Goulandris, who had amassed a world class assemblage of pre-classical works from Greek and international sources. Goulandris had an eye for form, and through her friendship with the art historian Dietrich von Bothmer, the world’s leading specialist in ancient Greek vases, she realized that so many collectors focused on the classic period that works from earlier eras were often overlooked. She saw a gap at the Early Cycladic Age (about 3200 to 2000 BC)
Excerpt from Town & Country June / July 2018