Black and white photograph of Athens

Impressions of Greece

Artefacts are forever connected to the places from where they came
This exhibition brings together ancient Greek artefacts with the landscapes and culture of modern Greece captured in the photographs of William J Woodhouse.

The history of Greece is littered across its landscape — with remnants of ancient temples and medieval castles, and unassuming mounds that mark the sites of historic battles. In the centre of Athens rises the Acropolis, a rocky palimpsest of the past. Whether broken sherds of pottery, or colossal bronze and marble sculptures, artefacts are forever connected to the places from where they came.

When William J Woodhouse, classicist and curator, travelled on foot and donkey through Greece at the turn of the 20th century, he carried a heavy camera and many boxes of glass photography plates.

The impressions of Greece he captured show the beauty of the landscape and the rich layers of history found in ancient monuments, Byzantine churches, Ottoman mosques, and contemporary villages. The people he met, his travel companions, and family and friends all appear in the images, expressing the life, vitality and warm hospitality that Woodhouse encountered on his travels. The photographs reveal his deep love of Greece.

This exhibition explores different themes of Greek heritage and culture, pairing artefacts and artworks to the Woodhouse's photographs. Each iteration will have a different central theme from which to draw out the connections between, people, places and objects.

The full archive of historic photographs are available online and part of an ongoing community project adding new information and data to the collection.



Now on display

The Olive

Focuses on the olive as a significant plant in Greece from ancient to modern times.

Past installations

Header image: William Woodhouse, Temple of Olympian Zeus, with Acropolis Hill in the background, ca.1890–1910, Nicholson Collection NM2007.16.14

Level 2, Nicholson Galleries

Open now
Ongoing exhibition

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