Angelos Sikelianos Museum
Angelos Sikelianos Museum is located in the charming Lefkada town, which is the capital of the island known as Lefkada or Lefkas. It’s a museum about the life and work of Angelos Sikelianos, a well-known Greek lyric poet and playwright, and his wife, Eva Palmer-Sikelianos, an American artist and choreographer.
Angelos Sikelianos was born and raised in Lefkas Island. He became one of the greatest Greek poets of the 20th century and was a Nobel prize nominee. His poetry is lyrical, fused with romanticism, symbolism and realism. Sikelianos was inspired by Homer, Aeschylus, Byzantine hymnography, folk song, and his contemporary litterateurs. He had a really interesting personality, which you can explore in the museum.
The building itself is the house in which Angelos Sikelianos spent his childhood. On the ground floor you can learn more about the building and its anti-seismic construction.
At the exhibition on the first floor, you can discover more about Sikelianos as a man, a thinker, and a poet.
Furthermore, you get more acquainted with his work as well as the Delphic Festivals, a series of events that the couple held at the ancient theatre of Delphi. The Delphic Festivals, which played a key role for the lives of both Angelos and Eva, commemorated ancient Hellenic culture and arts in a modern rendition which sought to bring to light the spirit of antiquity. Inspired by ideals supporting tradition, unity and peace, the festivals included speeches, athletic competitions and drama performances, folk exhibitions and Byzantine music concerts, attracting politicians, scholars, actors, artists and other notable attendees from around the world. [Source: Portes magazine]
In the museum you also can see the hand-made clothes that Eva weaved for the Delphic Festivals herself.
On the second floor, you become more familiar with the poet’s personal life, as well as the life of Eva Palmer-Sikelianos (his first wife) and Anna Sikelianou-Kambanari (his second wife).
“In my early years I met two special people, Eva and Angelos Sikelianos. I speak of Eva first, because, for me, Eva was the ‘core’ of the charismatic couple. Angelos, of course, was a great personality. But Eva was the soul. And the soul, in my opinion matters the most. Eva, apart from her soul, had also dedicated her whole fortune to the couple”. (From the speech of Theodoros Kritas during the 70th anniversary of the First Delphic Festivals, Delphi 16-20 July 1997). [Source: European Cultural Centre of Delphi]
Angelos Sikelianos Museum is definitely worth a visit, even you weren’t familiar with the poet before. It’s a small museum, so you can spend about 30-60 minutes there and see everything; plus, it’s free!
Getting to know more about this brilliant poet with the interesting life through a beautiful exhibition was actually one of my favourite things to do in Lefkada town! Check the museum’s website for more information about opening hours etc., as well as a gallery and a virtual tour of the museum.
by Angelos Sikelianos
The sinking sun set all the Rock aglow—
The heady fragrance of seaweed that had
Been blowing from the water down below
Began to drive my little stallion mad.
His bit was foamy, and his eyes rolled white—
And suddenly he struggled to break free
(Although I checked the reins with all my might)
To launch himself into vacuity.
Was it the hour? Aromas growing stronger?
The salt-tang of the deep, its briny sting?
Was it the far-off breathing of the trees?
O had the wind held out a little longer
I know the steed I gripped with reins and knees
Would have been Pegasus and taken wing!
The poem was translated by A. E. Stallings.