Fairfield University receives gift of photographs from Socratis Mavrommatis


Socratis Mavrommatis, who has spent 30 years as chief photographer of the Acropolis Restoration Service, has given Fairfield University's Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery a generous gift of twenty-three of his photographs, several of which have never before been shown. The photographer will make the official presentation to Academic Vice President Orin Grossman, and Diana Mille, director of the Walsh Art Gallery on Wednesday, April 16, following a short public lecture at 2 p.m., in the DiMenna-Nyselius Library Multimedia Room. Directly following the presentation, the photographs will be placed on display in the lobby of the Quick Center for the Arts and will be available for viewing during a reception from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The public is invited to the reception as well as the lecture.

Of Mavrommatis' photographic recordings of the Acropolis, Professor Charalambos Bouras, president of the Committee for the Conservation of the Acropolis Monuments wrote in the Acropolis Restoration Project exhibition catalogue of 2002, "... thanks to Socratis Mavrommatis ... Every shot is the result of careful study and artistic evaluation and positioning, followed by precision that borders on a passion for detail."

Since 1979, Mavrommatis has worked tirelessly and meticulously for the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in the Acropolis Restoration Project. His creative approach to documenting the damage and wear inflicted on the monuments by both nature and man during 25 centuries and the restorative work done on the monuments combines "the extraordinary development of technology, both in photography and technical means available for the work" and results in "the photographic rhapsody of Socratis Mavrommatis," as described by Angelos Delivorrias, director of the Benaki Museum in Athens.

Mavrommatis collaborated with Professor Katherine Schwab, associate professor of art history and Dr. Mille in organizing "The Creative Photograph in Archaeology," the Walsh Art Gallery's Fall 2007 world premiere exhibition of photographs that spanned 150 years of documentation and creative vision with Greek antiquities as the subject.

Dr. Mille spoke with grateful acknowledgement of the gift, "We at Fairfield University are overwhelmed by Socratis' generosity and our gratitude is boundless. His moving artistic vision and passion for both the abstract and the detail are elements that truly make his photographs timeless in their beauty and trace."

Mavrommatis' generosity of spirit is as great as his gift. His presentation is a highlight during a busy several days of on-campus and off-campus activities surrounding a brief visit from Greece.

On Monday, April 14, he will meet with students from St. Ann School in Bridgeport who participated in a photographic competition inspired by the Fall 2007 exhibition. In January 2008, winning photographs from participating Bridgeport Diocese students were displayed in the Walsh Art Gallery in an exhibition called "Ancient Inspirations."

On Tuesday, April 15, Mavrommatis will meet with students in digital photography classes taught by Marion Belanger, adjunct professor of studio art. On April 16, Prof. Schwab's students in Etruscan and Roman art and archaeology will join the audience for the public lecture. And on April 18, Mavrommatis will meet with Dr. Mille's modern art class.

Mavrommatis' visit to the campus has been generously supported by the Humanities Institute of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, and the Art History Program in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

"The Creative Photograph in Archaeology" was the second collaboration with Fairfield University. In 2004, the Acropolis Restoration Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture asked Fairfield University to serve as the first North American venue for "Photographs of the Athenian Acropolis Restoration Project." This exhibition of nearly 100 photographs of the ongoing restoration at the Acropolis of Athens continues to tour the United States. Fairfield is the organizer of the exhibition's travel schedule.

The Walsh Art Gallery hours are: Monday: Closed, Tuesday through Saturday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

 

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 14, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 205