Athens is packed with jewelry stores showcasing replicas of ancient designs as well as luxurious designs by the likes of jewelry such as Ilias Lalaounis and Zolotas, but the Eleni Marneri Gallery has managed in its 30 years of existence to stand out for showcasing modern creations in a singular way.
Fascinated by the art and craft of jewelry-making since childhood, its visionary founder has always deemed it important to present the decorative and distinctive work of new and established designers in a space where visitors can simply experience the magic of creativity or leave with a unique new piece to add to their personal collection. “Jewelry has always been a meaningful symbol for me, a talisman, an important part of our tradition and culture,” Marneri said. “I have always wanted to share the aspects of an art form that is directly interweaved with everyday life.”
Formerly located in the Makryianni area just a few steps from the Acropolis metro station, in a gleaming modern space with glass floors through which ancient underground relics were excitingly visible, the contemporary jewelry museum/shop with quite the fanatical following has now found a new home in Plaka.
With the new motto of “Home is where the heart is”, the Eleni Marneri Gallery has very recently set up shop in a 1910 neoclassical residence, which includes an original living room area (where visitors can sit on yes, sofas). Every room of the ‘home’ has a distinctive ambience, inspired by its beautifully maintained original vintage floors and ceilings, combined with what Marneri has brought to it: carefully curated jewelry exhibitions (permanent and temporary), and the presentation of perfumes and candles by Santa Maria Novella (based on antique recipes from Tuscany) and by Baruti και Geodesis.
“The Pandemic experience has changed my perspective of life,” Marneri told Greece Is, “and although I loved our previous space, I felt it was time to move to a place that felt – not only to us but to our visitors too – more like home. I wanted what we present to generate more intimate and genuine energy that could allow people to enjoy a more heartfelt, subtle as well as deep experience of what we feature here.”
In this new home that combines the elegance of old Athens with the artful glamour of cutting-edge design, Marneri and her niece/partner Ersi Kalozaki intend to continue launching inspiring cultural events and happenings that bring creatives, arti-loving visionaries and jewelry lovers together. As for new exhibitions, this summer we can look forward to exhibitions such as Sarah Cossham’s ‘Fine Jewelry’ from Germany, Lavinia Rossetti’s ‘Alternating Rhythm’ collection from Italy and Margarita Malliri’s ‘Pebbles Contemporary Jewelry’ from Greece.