The influence of Cycladic art still resonates today. Scholars attribute this to its anthropocentric character, as reflected in the perfection and proportion of form, the simplicity and the sense of austerity conveyed by the materials used. It is believed, in fact, to have inspired 20th century modern art.
The main building of the Museum of Cycladic Art, designed by the architect Ioannis Vikelas, was donated by the late Dolly Goulandris and the museum was founded in 1986. It initially housed the private collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris and was gradually extended for the display of other valuable collections and donations.
Most of the 1,000 exhibits date from 3000 BC to the 4th century AD, and provide important evidence of the cultures that flourished in the Aegean.
“The museum strikes a balance between the permanent collections and the temporary exhibitions, with an enormous archaeological section, which forms the core of the museum’s holdings, but also works of Renaissance and modern art,” explains Professor Nicholas Stampolidis, the museum’s director and soul.