Calling all art and history buffs! The Museum of Cycladic Art invites you to immerse yourself in the captivating Cycladic civilization, which prospered on the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age (3200-1100 BC).
Follow the guide!
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Introducing the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens
The History of the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens
Established in 1986, the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens is committed to studying and promoting the art of the Aegean region and the Cycladic culture.
This private museum is the brainchild of founders Dolly and Nikolaos Goulandris, who started collecting Cycladic art pieces back in the 1960s.
Designed by Greek architect Ioannis Vikelas, the building is a striking example of modern Greek architecture, boasting a white marble exterior and spacious, well-lit interiors.
Since its inception, the Cycladic Art Museum in Athens has broadened its collections and mission to encompass not only Cycladic art but also Aegean, ancient Greek, and Byzantine art.
💡 What is Cycladic culture? 💡
Cycladic culture refers to a civilization that thrived on the Cycladic Islands in the Aegean Sea during the Bronze Age (3200-1100 BC). This culture is especially famous for its marble sculptures, pottery, and ritual items.
Today, the museum is home to over 3,000 art pieces, primarily consisting of statues and pottery from the Cycladic period, as well as ancient Greek and Byzantine art objects. Each year, the museum attracts thousands of visitors from around the globe who come to marvel at these exceptional and intriguing works of art.
Visiting the Museum of Cycladic Art
How is the museum’s collection organized?
The Athens Cycladic Art Museum presents its collections in a way that takes visitors on a chronological and thematic journey through Aegean art history. Exhibits are spread across four floors, each focusing on a specific time period or aspect of Cycladic art and Aegean culture.
On the ground floor, you’ll find the museum shop and a space for temporary exhibitions, which regularly showcase displays related to the Bronze Age art and culture of the Aegean region.
The first floor is dedicated to the primary collection of Cycladic art, featuring objects from the Early Cycladic period (3200-2000 BC) through the Late Cycladic period (2000-1100 BC). Here, you’ll encounter marble statues, pottery, jewelry, and ritual items that reflect the richness and diversity of this ancient civilization.
The second floor exhibits Aegean art from other parts of the Aegean Sea, including Crete and mainland Greece, alongside ancient Greek art ranging from the Archaic period (800-480 BC) to the Hellenistic period (323-31 BC). You can admire painted vases, bronze and marble sculptures, as well as everyday objects and jewelry.
Finally, the third floor focuses on Byzantine art, with a collection of icons, manuscripts, textiles, and religious artifacts dating from the 4th to the 15th century AD.
The Athens Cycladic Art Museum’s collections: Statues, pottery, and jewelry
At the heart of the museum lies the Cycladic collection, which constitutes the majority of the exhibits. Marble statues, known for their streamlined, geometric forms, are among the most iconic Cycladic art pieces. They generally depict stylized human figures with oval faces and elongated, slender noses.
The collection also features pottery, ceramics, and jewelry, which demonstrate the skill of Cycladic craftsmen and the significance of trade in the Aegean region during that time. The pottery, often embellished with geometric patterns and depictions of animals and plants, provides insight into the daily life and religious beliefs of the Cycladic inhabitants.
The most emblematic artifacts of the Athens Museum of Cycladic Art
One of the museum’s most outstanding masterpieces is the renowned “Flute Player.” This Cycladic idol from 2700 BC portrays a seated female figure playing the flute. Her pose and facial expression showcase the Cycladic sculptors’ artistic expertise and their ability to convey the grace and subtlety of human movement.
The “Harp Player” is another iconic Cycladic art statue, also dating from 2700 BC, is Depicted as a seated male figure cradling a harp, the fine detailing and harmonious proportions of this piece once again reveal the Cycladic artists’ skill and strong aesthetic sense.
Besides these two statues, the museum is home to a myriad of captivating pieces, including painted vases, bronze sculptures, and ritual objects. Each artifact provides a valuable insight into the daily life, religious beliefs, and artistic practices of the Aegean region’s Bronze Age inhabitants.
Getting to the Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens
The Museum of Cycladic Art is centrally located in Athens’ Kolonaki district, with various convenient transport options:
- 🚇 by metro: The “Evangelismos” station on Line 3 (blue line) is approximately a 5-7 minute walk from the museum. The “Syntagma” station on Lines 2 (red line) and 3 (blue line) is around a 10-minute walk from the museum and serves as a central hub for multiple metro lines.
- 🚌 by bus: Numerous bus lines service the Kolonaki district, where the museum is situated. Bus lines 022, 060, 200, 203, 204, 211, 213, 220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 235, 408, 419, 550, 603, A5, and E14 all have stops in the vicinity of the museum.
- 🚊 by tram: Tram lines 3, 7, 10, 13, and 14 also have stops near the Museum of Cycladic Art.
- 🚶 on foot: Syntagma Square, for instance, is roughly a 10-minute walk away.
Athens Museum of Cycladic Art Opening Hours
The museum is open from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. On Thursdays, the hours are extended to 8 pm, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy cultural evenings. Sundays see the museum open from 11 am to 5 pm. The museum remains closed on public holidays and religious observances.
Museum of Cycladic Art Admission Fees
Entrance fees for the Museum of Cycladic Art are as follows:
- 12 euros for adults
- 7 euros for students and individuals aged 65 and over
- free admission for children under 18 and persons with disabilities
👉 To save time (particularly during peak season), it is recommended to purchase your ticket online: Museum of Cycladic Art entrance ticket