The Exhibition

In this museum of Hydra, which inherent story and magical location are greatly moving, we invite visitors to come and discover new talents...

Didier Guillon, President of the Valmont Group and the exhibition's curator

El Cuor No Se Vende

Sprayed in big bold white letters onto a red banner in Venice, and somehow impossible for any Venice-dwelling lovers floatpassing the Grand Canal aboard a vaporetto to miss out on, lies this tremendous sentence « EL CUOR NO SE VENDE », a genuine manifesto against speculation and rampant mercantilism.

We used these few Venetian words and turned them into the title of our second exhibition at the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra. By way of a stigmatizing elite-oriented (such as Art Basel) spectacular art events, Charles Saatchi humourously hinted at La Fiac back in 2011 in a Guardian column, saying: « Do any of these people actually enjoy looking at art? Or do they simply enjoy having easily recognised, big-brand name pictures, bought ostentatiously in auction rooms at eye-catching prices? » The art works to be displayed down at the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra from July, 1st to August, 31st, were not subjected to the selection of this last quarter of the century’s artistic production, a process that is so usually cherished it’s become mundane.

Among the big names, you won’t find any Murakami, Fisher, Hirst or Koons, artists whom any contemporary art lover would expect to find at any trend fare, down at Starbucks, Zara, Nespresso, or H&M in the case of most big-city dwellers walking down the high street.

In this museum of Hydra, which inherent story and magical location are emotionally charged, we invite visitors to come and discover new talents such as Isao Llorens, Quentin Garel, Lee Jung Woong and Yves Bélorgey. These artists’ works all conquered the heart of our exhibition’s curator, as they bear no speculation and seem to all be all united by a common thread. A thread made out of creative ethics, a true conspicuous comeback to craftmanship in the artistic work, and a certain sense of contempt for any need of a creative justification.

Didier Guillon

Mostly the island is linked to Art. Great painters like Pericles Byzantios, Ghikas, Moralis, Tetsis. Today the island has many art venues and annual meetings: Deste Foundation, the Public School Project, the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra. At this museum, we are happy and proud to welcome the exhibition, “El Cuor Non Se Vende” curated by the Valmont Foundation in July-August 2016.

Maria Kladaki, President of Hydra Hotels Association

About Hydra

At breathing distance from Athens and any European capital, Hydra lives at the pace of  the 19th century, free of cars.  Here mules and donkeys still print their rhythm on the stone paved roads.  Horses, boats and  feet get one around the island.

What one lacks in cars, gains in peacefulness, serenity and the untouched nature. Crystal clear waters, pathways to the inland and the hilltop monasteries, farms, trekking with horses.

Hydra played a historic role in the formation of the new Greek state in 1829,  (with Admirals Miaoulis and Koundouriotis) free spirits with a rebel attitude, that won the sea battles of the Hydriot fleet against that of the Ottoman empire.  

The island has inspired many artists, as Leonard Cohen and  movie directors starting in the 50’s. Movies like the "Girl in black" (1960) by Michalis Kalogiannis, "The Child and the Dolphin" with Sofia Loren and "Phaedra" of Jules Dassin with Melina Mercouri and Anthony Quinn, propelled the island to the top of the international jet set like Saint-Tropez and later, Mykonos.

 

Mostly the island is linked to Art. Great painters like Pericles Byzantios, Ghikas, Moralis, Tetsis. Today the island has many art venues and annual meetings: Deste Foundation, the Public School Project, the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra. At this museum, we are happy and proud to welcome the exhibition, “El Cuor No Se Vende” curated by the Valmont Foundation in July – August 2016.

Hydra is a place of barefoot luxury, hippie chic, a cool, relaxed style, side by side with the wealth of visiting yachts. This is where ship owners and simple islanders mix at the cafes that stretch along the historic port of Hydra…

The architecture reflects the glory of the past. Great state of preservation of the architectural patrimony. It is a grandiose landscape for vacations with an offer of Heritage Boutique Hotels in old mansions of captains and admirals, ready to accommodate the traveler and travel one beyond time, for a unique, extreme relaxation experience!

The Historical Archives Museum of Hydra, (H.A.M.H. ), which was established in 1918, is an elegant and well-made museum where every visitor may experience and move in an atmosphere reminiscent of the past, seeking their own historical identity. The H.A.M.H. is indeed a steady reference point for the promotion of our country’s culture, playing an integral and creative role in the island’s social reality, a role which, after all, is well-deserved.

Dina Adamopoulou, Director of the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra

About the museum

The Historical Archives Museum of Hydra, (H.A.M.H. ),  which was established in 1918, is an elegant and well-made museum where every visitor may experience and move in an atmosphere reminiscent of the past, seeking their own historical identity. The H.A.M.H.  is indeed a steady reference point for the promotion of our country’s culture, playing an integral and creative role in the island’s social reality, a role which, after all, is well-deserved.
The H.A.M.H. in which three departments operate: Archives, Museum and Library, on a daily basis accommodates historians-researchers and the general public of the numerous visitors of the island in order to tour or make a research in its premises.

The Archives Section

The objective of the Archives section is to locate, gather, classify, index and publish every kind of archive material relating to Hydra, its local history, tradition and culture.
After careful selection, this Hydriot historical documentation centre acquires archive material from Public Services on the island, as well as from agencies and private individuals. These records constitute an important source of historical research into Hydra and illustrates in a historical context the leading role of the island particularly during the 18th and the 19th century.
A substantial portion of the archive material corresponds to the Community of Hydra Archives (1708-1865). Approximately 18.000 original documents, manuscripts,  codices and ledgers provide a detailed account of Greek history, before, during and after the Greek War of Independence.
In addition, there are educational, administrative, ecclesiastical and collective archives dating from the mid-19th century to the present day.

The Museum Section

The Museum section is laid out on two floors:

On display in the anteroom on the ground floor are a number of heirlooms from the Balkan Wars and the First and Second World Wars.
The first floor anteroom features figureheads and ornamental carvings from ships of the War of Independence, The Great Map of Rigas Velestinlis (Feraios), as well as the monumental outer gate from the mansion of G.D. Voulgaris.
In the rooms on the first floor, a splendid picture gallery has been created with works by prominent Greek and foreign artists, mainly oil paintings but also watercolours depicting ships that saw action in the War of Independence.
Also exhibited are local costumes, weapons of Hydriot independence fighters, exquisite woodcarvings, nautical maps and many fine miniature works dating from the 18th and the 19th century.

The Library

The Library has some 6000 volumes, mainly old and rare publications, many of which date from the early 18th century.The collection is constantly being enriched with new publications, chiefly historical and archival in nature, but also literary works, magazines, newspapers etc.

Cultural Activities

The Historical Archives Museum of Hydra besides its regular scientific, archival and museological tasks, constitutes a lively beehive of continuous cultural activity: important visual art and archaeological exhibitions, conferences, lectures, musical concerts and theatrical performances, educational archives-museum programs addressed to schoolchildren and students at all levels of learning, various publications are some of the activities organized and realized by our service, through which we steadily aspire to familiarize the spectacle and history-loving public on the one hand with their historical past and, on the other, with contemporary Greek cultural reality.

The continuous cultural movement, which is very important for our country’s regional affairs, has established for many years now the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra as a ‘multicultural” public organization, a breath of real culture that is an honor to the Ministry  of Education and Culture, under whose auspices it operates. This is attested, after all, by the thousands of visitors it attracts (20-25.000 on average per year), as well as their favorable comments.

The exhibition that we host this summer to the Historical Archives Museum of Hydra, "El Cuor No Se Vende", consists of the art collection of the Valmont Foundation which belongs to Didier Guillon, owner of Swiss Firm Valmont, which we have the pleasure to welcome in Greece and on the island of Hydra. It is a unique taste of Europe with great works of artists, an international collaboration, which we welcome all pleasantly...