Most Greeks have never visited Vorres Museum. And most international visitors haven't even heard of it. It might not be mentioned in many travel guides, but this is what makes it a real hidden gem.
Located in Paiania, a small suburb of Athens, and away from all the touristy spots, this place aims to unveil and recognize lesser-known parts of Greek folk art and at the same time showcase some of the most interesting creations of Greek contemporary artists. Upon my arrival I was a bit sceptical. 'Can a museum like this, hidden among gardens and courtyards, impress me?' I kept asking myself. It didn't take much to have the answer. I had chosen one of the best places to spend my morning.
The main entrance is surrounded by several sculptures - most of them undoubtedly creative. Peculiar shapes, different kind of surfaces and diverse materials: although completely irrelevant to each other, they somehow blend in so perfectly with the space. Don't hesitate to explore more closely or ask more details about the artists. Vorres Museum staff will immediately inform you and answer all your questions.
What’s next? Painting! Deep orange, vivid yellow, passionate red: I spent the following couple of hours rediscovering painting through the eyes of modern Greek artists. I left truly fascinated. Works of Gaitis, Mytaras and Fassianos are only some of the many artworks that grabbed my attention not only as a result of their inspiring colour combinations but also thanks to their social criticism.
But Vorres Museum is not only about modern painting and sculpture. The last part of the museum is dedicated to the life of the museum founder, Ian Vorres. This is where I got to discover interesting facts about his life and about Greek way of living in general.
Ian Vorres spent more than 20 years living abroad. This helped him see Greece and Greek culture from a totally different point of view. His immense love for anything Greek helped him cultivate a huge appreciation for Greek life and Greek artists. And this is the main reason why Vorres Museum was originally created.
Upon his return in Greece, Ian Vorres dedicated his life in collecting various objects and artefacts that made part of Greek culture. From mill stones that he transformed into coffee tables to cute collections of shepherd crooks; every single object has a unique story to tell. Today, all these unique pieces form a big part of the museum's collection and in their own unique way tell an untold story about Greek history and culture.
I decided to end this enjoyable morning with a walk around the museum gardens. Nothing better than a late summer garden in full bloom combined with a delicious freshly squeezed juice at the museum's cafe. It was the most beautiful and refreshing end I could give to this mini cultural adventure.