Spend Time at the Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens
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Greece is home to one of the most extraordinary collections of jewelry and decorative arts in the world in the Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, which is located in Athens, Greece. The museum is an international center that is dedicated to the history, art and continuation of traditional crafts with an emphasis on ancient and modern silver and goldsmithing. It is a non-governmental cultural institution located in a neoclassical building just south of the Acropolis in Athens. Here’s more information:
Exhibits at the Museum
This remarkable collection has 50 permanent exhibits and displays more than 3,000 pieces of jewelry and tiny, exquisite sculptures that were created by Ilian Lalaounis between 1940 and 2000. The inspiration behind this collection reaches far back in the history of civilization to the time when ancient people created jewelry and decorative art. Along with Classical and Hellenistic influence, there are many pieces inspired by the Neolithic period, African designs, the Byzantine period and New World post-Columbian architecture. Towards the turn of the Millennium, science and technology provided inspiration for these gorgeous pieces. The permanent collection also includes donations for jewelry and decorative arts from around the world.
The permanent collection was inspired by 15 world cultures, nature and technology and there are special commissions, including ceremonial swords and the Olympic Torch. Along with the permanent collection are temporary collections and exhibitions such as private collections of fossils and minerals that you can’t see anywhere else. You will see a meteorite that is 4.45 years old and the oldest rock found on Earth from Australia that is 700 million years old. Minerals include fabulous gems straight from the earth to the collection.
The Lalaounis Jewelry Museum offers educational programs for adults and children who may be burgeoning artists that want to see and learn more. Over the past few years, more than 1200 educational programs have been organized in Greece and other cities around the world in collaboration with museums, educational institutions and cultural organizations for fun and inspiration.
There is something for every interest including programs for people with special needs and cultural focus groups. Along with jewelry design, workshops may include gemology, art history and children’s theater as well as workshops specially designed for families. Today, these activities and workshops have reached approximately 20,000 adults and 90,000 children.
For further interest and education, you can visit the 5,000 volume library with books, some rare, on the history of art, design, folk art, jewelry and more.
Get to Know the Building
The Museum is housed in two adjoining buildings, one of which is the historical workshop of the museum’s founder Ilias Lalaounis. It dates from the Athenian Modernist Movement of the 1930s and the founder set up his workshop in 1968. The Museum has two levels and a rooftop terrace where visitors get a spectacular view of the Acropolis. With a café and restaurant, it is a great place to spend the day. At the gift shop along with posters and postcards, you can buy or order replicas of many of the pieces you loved in the museum collections.
When you visit Athens, you will have an afternoon to remember when you visit the Lalaounis Jewelry Museum. It offers a unique experience of beauty and history that is rarely seen.
This post was written by Greek Boston