Not all art is painted within a frame or stands on a pedestal. Some of the richest art is left to us as relics of a civilization and its culture. Anyone who has watched an episode of Antiques Roadshow is keenly aware of the wealth found in unusual everyday objects of the past. Because of the pace of life in the 21st century, and the emphasis on sleek design and technology, the simplest objects that our grandparents took for granted have become collectible.
More unique to our Greek American culture are the utensils and textiles fashioned in Greece two and three generations ago that characterize the craftsmanship of its time. It is this craftsmanship we must commit ourselves to preserve. To the trained eye it represents an aesthetic that stems back to classical times. To the casual observer it illustrates a way of embellishing functional objects with design inspired by nature full of color and pattern.
Our generation has been handed many advantages over those that have preceded us. We are all too frequently reminded that the generations that preceded us are leaving us and with them go many of the artifacts that were brought with them in the early part of the 20th century. Now we have an obligation to connect the past to the future. Genuine textiles, metal works, ceramics, graphics, wood and stone were handcrafted throughout Greece and were brought to this country as family heirlooms. Today many of our seniors are left to ponder as to how to disperse of these items. We have an opportunity to establish a museum to house these treasured possessions and create a legacy for future generations.
Our proposal is to establish a committee within the Cathedral that would develop a system for collecting, identifying, valuing and housing these items. Once it is known that this is out intention, we will begin to explore venues for permanent and changing exhibitions within a museum setting. A similar museum has been established in Chicago and a few other major cities. The Greek Americans of our metropolitan area are diverse enough to provide us with a wealth of diversity representing the many regions of Greece.
While it is early to identify our specific needs it is apparent that we will have to guarantee safe storage of the collectables. This will include a climate controlled environment with suitable storage facilities which can be identified at a later date.
A number of parishioners are willing to give of their time to pursue this endeavor and they include, but are not exclusive to: Mitsie Doccolo, Helen Johns, Evelyn Karas, Mary Kiladis, George Lintzeris, Harry Maistros, Anna Pappas, Maia Pappas and Athena Sidou.
Given that we are probably ten years behind beginning this project, your earliest consideration is welcomed and appreciated.