NEW YORK – The Hellenic-American Cultural Foundation (HACF), with the support of the Benaki Museum, welcomed a presentation by renowned art historian Evita Arapoglou on the exhibition currently at The British Museum, Charmed Lives in Greece: Ghika, Craxton, Leigh Fermor. Ms. Arapoglou helped create and served as co-curator for the exhibition, which was previously on display at the Benaki Museum in Athens and the A. G. Leventis Gallery in Nicosia.
As Arapoglou noted, the Greek painter Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas, the British painter John Craxton and the British writer Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor first met at the end of World War II. Their close friendship endured for more than fifty years, and their shared love of the Greek world deeply influenced their respective works. Images of Ghikas’ glorious landscape paintings and of Craxton’s vividly evocative scenes from everyday life, and excerpts from Leigh Fermor’s eloquent texts, are combined in a narrative of this trio’s remarkable friendship and of the unforgettable charm of life in Greece. The presentation was a vivid stroll through these artists’ intertwined lives in Mani, Crete, Hydra, and Corfu.
HACF Chairman Nicholas Kourides gave the welcoming remarks, noting that this is the first event of the year for the Foundation. Upcoming events include a presentation about the Dangerous Beauty exhibition by the Metropolitan Museum curator, and a concert at Merkin Hall later on in the year. The free events are made possible by contributions, Kourides noted.
At the reception which followed the presentation, Kourides told The National Herald about how the event came together through the efforts of Board members Peter Bazos and Christina Hioureas and that it happened that Arapoglou would be in town at the perfect time. “She’s wonderful,” Kourides said of the art historian and her presentation.
The audience was fascinated by Arapoglou’s lecture which included slides with photos of Ghikas, Craxton, and Leigh Fermor, and their famous guests from the literary and art world of the time. Images of the artwork by these extraordinary artists, inspired by Greece, highlighted their love of the country, its traditions, and people.
Among those present at the event were Consul of Greece Lana Zochiou, Ambassador Andrew Jacovides and his wife Pamela, Atlantic Bank President Nancy Papaioannou, Aris and Marilena Christodoulou, Dr. Ioannis Hatzaras, Evan Michailides, Effie Streida, and many members of the community.