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The rareness and uniqueness of the documents displayed in the exhibition ‘No Woman’s Land. From Princeton to Mount Athos and the Meteora in 1929’, together with its huge popularity with the general public, schools and other educational institutions both in Thessaloniki and Kalambaka, has prompted us to restage the exhibition in the exhibition space of the Mount Athos Center in Thessaloniki (Egnatia 109) from 15 February until 15 April 2024.

The exhibition, which has been organised in collaboration with the Department of Art and Archaeology of Princeton University in the USA, presents for the first time to the Greek public the historic photographs and silent film that has survived from the mission undertaken by three traveller-artists from Princeton to Mount Athos and the Meteora in 1929.   

How the exhibition came about

In late 2017, during the transfer of old library collections belonging to the Department of Art and Archaeology of Princeton University, the departmental staff discovered a hidden barrel whose contents concealed details of an unknown and long-forgotten expedition.  

The ensuing research undertaken by members of the Art and Archaeology Department found that the nine canisters of film that had been placed inside the barrel contained the record of a journey made to Mount Athos and the Meteora by a group of traveller-artists. Further research established a connection between this film and 254 photographic prints and 81 glass lantern slides (16 of which were colourised) that already existed, albeit unidentified, in the University of Princeton’s Visual Resources Collection.   
The expedition to Greece was actually undertaken in the autumn of 1929 and the group of travellers consisted of the Russian émigré, painter, explorer and exceptionally gifted communicator Vladimir ‘Vovo’ Perfilieff, the photographer, talented cinematographer and later Oscar-winner Floyd Crosby, and the architect Gordon McCormick, a Princeton University graduate. The three travellers were accompanied by the young Anastasios Chatzimitsos, an interpreter from Thessaloniki. The main destination of their mission was Mount Athos, while its aim was to photograph and film a place that was considered to be timelesss, mysterious and unique. The members of the mission were deeply impressed by the superb natural scenery, the architecture of the monasteries and the daily life of the monks, as well as their encounter with the cave-dwelling hermit Ilya and the unique conditions in which he lived. In addition, they were so impressed by the complete absence of women on the Athonite peninsula that they decided to call their project ‘No Woman’s Land’.

The photographs in the collection bring to light exceptionally rare material and provide us with historical, social, architectural and folkloric information that is of great importance as it broadens our original source material and adds invaluable knowledge to the historical research on two of the most important monastic centres in the Orthodox world, Mount Athos and the Meteora.
Research and curation of the exhibition: Anastasios Douros    
Duration of exhibition: 15 February – 15 April 2024
Venue: Mount Athos Center, Egnatia 109, Thessaloniki
Opening hours:
Monday & Wednesday: 09:00 – 16:00
Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 09:00 – 20:00
Saturday: 09:00 – 15:00
To book a place on a guided group tour, please contact the Mount Athos Center:
Tel. no. 2310 263 308
www.agioritikiestia.gr | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.






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