You’ve probably already read all about our Metsovo adventure, (if you haven’t, you are missing out and you can read it now here) and although we did mention our visit to the vlach village’s Averoff Museum and Folk Art Museum, we thought it’d be a shame not to share our whole experience.
Of course we were pretty well-informed about what we were about to see visiting the gallery but like most people, we did feel some sort of awkwardness around the art nerds and aficionados we thought we’d come across.
A lot of art is the first impression that you get once you step in the museum. You know it’s important and you have to check it out.
As you walk in, you immediately get a taste of the start of Neohellenic art, the early impressionistic tendencies and the 19th century masterpieces.
This was another of Averoff’s accomplishments, as Katerina, one of the wonderful and very helpful ladies of the staff and our guide, informed us. Averoff was, indeed, a very multi-faceted personality, a man with many interests and talents as well as a huge benefactor to Metsovo and its people and you could see that all around you.
The museum, inaugurated in 1988, was merely Averoff’s vision to bequeath the valuable collection of art he had accumulated over the years. The works of art currently exhibited are part of Averoff’s second collection as the first one was sold during the Junta period to the Leventis foundation.
If you’re an art lover, you might already be familiar with some of the art as the museum houses some of the most famous works of the 19th and 20th century.
Particularly notable is the ‘’ Athenian Street Urchin Eating Watermelon’’, a captivating portrait of a young boy, by Pericles Pantazis.
In 1994 and after several extensions to the museum, many valuable works were added to the permanent collection that were donated by some of the most important artists of the 20th century that include, Moralis, Hatzikiriakos-Gikas, Tsarouhis, Tsigos & Tetsis.
The cultural wealth that surrounded us was thrilling. A true treasure trove of modern Greek art, the Averoff Museum is essentially a passage through Greek cultural history.
One of the most significant collections is the engravings one donated by Dimitris Tsamis, Katerina informed us, showing us the works of art, as we approached the ground floor. This is also where the children’s workshop takes place. Here, children have the opportunity to learn about art history and keep themselves busy creating all sorts of art such as, jewelry, ceramics, clay crafts etc.
Tatiana Averoff, daughter of Evangelos Averoff-Tositsas, has continued his father’s legacy and has enriched the institution’s collection by adding new programs and activities. The children’s workshop is part of the new activities added to the institution’s collection and is aimed at helping shape the next generation of Greek artists.
If you’re visiting Metsovo for the first time, you simply can’t skip visiting the museum. If you’re an art lover with no plans for the fall/winter period, then you should consider booking your trip to the vlach village asap!