The Ghika Gallery
The building at 3 Kriezotou Street belonged to the artist Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika who donated it to the Benaki Museum during his lifetime. The original structure, commissioned by Alexander Hadjikyriakos around 1932, comprised a ground floor and five upper floors. Designed by the architect Kostas Kitsikis, a professor at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), it was a typical example of an interwar apartment block.
In the mid-1950s, Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika decided to live in the building, which belonged to his family, on a permanent basis. For this purpose a further storey was added, designed personally by the artist with the assistance of architects Antonis Kitsikis and Alexander Papageorgiou, who had been his students at the NTUA School of Architecture. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika’s residence at 3 Kriezotou Street came to be well known in architectural and artistic circles, and was depicted in Greek and foreign architectural reviews. The artist lived on the fifth floor of the building, using the unusually spacious and well-lit space on the sixth floor as a studio and library. He lived and worked there continuously for almost forty years until his death in September 1994. After his death these areas were preserved as they had been decorated and arranged during the artist’s lifetime. In 1991 the N. Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery opened in an area of 150 m2 on the fourth floor of the building. The permanent exhibition was organised by the artist himself, and comprises works representing all aspects of his creative activity. Temporary thematic displays of Hadjikyriakos-Ghika’s oeuvre are held in the gallery to show items not included in the permanent exhibition, such as drawings, small-scale sculptures, and works inspired by ancient Greek art. The Gallery remained closed from 2005, due to work undertaken to conserve and refurbish the building’s spaces, according to plans prepared by architect Pavlos Kalligas. Once this work was complete, the artist’s living quarters and studio as well as the gallery exhibiting his works remained as permanent exhibits, while the remaining space was freed up to highlight the intellectual and artistic output of Greece during a particularly crucial period, from the end of the Great War and the disastrous Asia Minor Campaign, up to the eve of the 1967 dictatorship, which is also the time during which Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Ghika lived and formed his artistic conscience.