About us

Information about the Museum and its history through time


The Museum of Cycladic Art is a living cultural institution in the centre of Athens that focuses on the promotion of the ancient civilizations of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic art of the 3rd millennium BC. It is a Legal Entity under Private Law supervised by the Ministry of Culture withοut state funding.

The Museum has operated since 1986 to house and display the private collection of antiquities of Dolly and Nikolaos Goulandris. Since then, it has expanded significantly and today holds one of the most comprehensive private collections of Cycladic art in the world, with representative specimens of the world-famous Cycladic marble figurines.

The nucleus of the Museum’s Cycladic Art Collection is the marble figurines depicting naked human figures that fascinate the visitor with their simplicity and abstractness, elements that have inspired some of the 20th-century’s greatest artists, such as Konstantin Brancusi, Amedeo Modigliani, Alberto Giacometti, Barbara Hepworth, and Henry Moore.


The Museum’s permanent collections include 3000 Cycladic, ancient Greek, and ancient Cypriot artefacts, testimonies to the civilizations that flourished in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean from the 4th millennium BC to approximately the 6th century AD.

The Museum’s temporary exhibitions focus on both archaeology and modern and contemporary art, and aim to connect the public not only to antiquity but also to important 20th and 21st-century artists, by exploring the links between ancient civilizations and contemporary artistic creation. So far, it has hosted works by and exhibitions on Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Thomas Struth, Louise Bourgeois, Sarah Lucas, Ugo Rondinone, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Ai Weiwei, Cy Twombly, and George Condo, among others.



    The Museum of Cycladic Art was founded in 1986 to house Nikolaos and Aikaterini (Dolly) Goulandris’s collection of Cycladic and ancient Greek art. Since then, the Museum has developed into a living cultural institution of international scope and renown, focusing on the promotion of the ancient civilizations of the Aegean and Cyprus, with particular emphasis on Cycladic art of the 3rd millennium BC.


    The Museum’s mission is to promote Aegean Civilizaton (from 6000 BC) and art, including contemporary artists, locally and internationally.


    The history of the Museum of Cycladic Art through time


    The Museum of Cycladic Art is housed in two separate buildings, which are connected internally: the Neofytou Douka Building (Main Building) and the Stathatos Mansion.


    The promotion of Greek prehistoric and Classical art abroad was Nikolaos and Dolly Goulandris’s principal goal, long before the creation of the Museum. The collection of Cycladic and ancient Greek art forged by the two collectors from 1960 onwards, was soon displayed in some of the world’s greatest museums.


    The MCA's objectives for the next five years.


    A strategic goal of the Museum of Cycladic Art is to reduce its energy footprint and educate the public on environmental issues.


    Τhe Museum of Cycladic Art is dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus, with special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. It was founded in 1986, to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. Since then it has grown in size to accommodate new acquisitions, obtained either through direct purchases or through donations by important collectors and institutions.


    The three major collections of the MCA (Cycladic Culture, Ancient Greek Art, Cypriot Culture) have been formed through generous donations by important collectors, public and private institutions, as well as anonymous donators. Today, the artifacts that once belonged to separate private collections have been integrated by the museum curators into the corresponding chronological and thematic groups, their provenance being indicated clearly in the label of each object. In addition, several of the museum galleries have been named after the most important donators (The K. Politis Gallery, The Athens Academy Gallery, The Th. N. Zintilis Gallery).


    The annual financial statements of the Museum and the report of the Certified Public Accountant that accompanies them are posted in accordance with the law and for reasons of transparency for the information of every interested party.


    The Museum of Cycladic Art and Cycladic Art Foundation in New York Petros Goneos Memorial Award for Studies on the Culture of the Cyclades

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