- Mika Vepsalainen
Museum of Modern Greek Art - Greek History Through Modern Eyes
Updated: Mar 18
Come with us on a great visitor’s review of a charming museum of modern art illustrating the glorious Greek history.
The Modern Greek Art Museum's collection represents modern art with works of over 160 eminent Greek artists. The close to 700 pieces of art, mostly paintings and some sculptures feature works among others by Maleas, Bouzianis, Hadzikyriakos-Gikas, Spyropoulos, Vassiliou and many other prominent Greek artists depicting the history of Greece through the eyes and the soul of Greek artists of the 20th century.
Thanks to the foresight of its founder, Andreas Ioannou, the museum is located in a historical building near the entrance of the medieval town at the Symi square. A student of modern Greek painting at the time, Ioannou established the Municipal Gallery of Rhodes in 1962 when it was the first Modern Greek Art Museum to acquire permanent installations. The earliest exhibits in the museum collection date back to the 15th century, but the bulk of the collection are works of art, created since the founding of the modern Greek state in 1832. Today the museum owns one of the world's largest collections of 20th century Greek art. The museum's Center of Modern Art is located in Socrates Street, one of the most public roads in the Medieval Town, and holds the museum's temporary exhibits.
The current museum comprises several exhibition halls. This review focuses on the exhibition at the Nestoridion Melathron featuring paintings, engravings, and sculptures from some of Greece’s most popular 20th century artists.
There is a QR code to access more information about the works but given the somewhat surprising roaming costs in Greece, we would wish a bit more than the name of the painting and the artist next to the works at the museum.
The museum has barrier free access to all exhibition areas, a spacious lift to the first floor and the loo in the basement.
In spring 2022, there were solid safety regulations with compulsory masks and disinfectant for hands and the loos were tidy but two out of the three loo cabins were out of order, including the one for the handicapped.
Many a visitor to Rhodes may not notice this side of Greece on offer and thus, the museum is a lovely escapade with few visitors only. There is no museum shop nor café in the museum but you can buy postcards and guidebooks in Greek at the ticket desk and there are a lot of cafés and restaurants around and the beach boulevard is only two block away, so seize the opportunity for a calm moment in between you busy holiday schedules!
Museum of Modern Greek Art
Plateia Gavriil Charitou, Rhodes 85100, Greece
Visit and photos by Heli Järvenpää.