Nikoleta Tzani

Visiting Fellow, Fall 2023

  • Affiliation
    Democritus University of Thrace
    Research Project:
    Crossroads of the Imagination: American, French, and Greek Representations of Mount Athos in the Popular Press
Contact Info

Dr. Nikoleta Tzani works as an art historian and curator for the Municipality of Volos, Greece. She also teaches Art History courses in the Department of History and Ethnology at Democritus University of Thrace in Komotini (2019-23) and previously taught and supervised M.A. theses at the Master’s Program “Public History” at the Hellenic Open University (2020-22). She collaborates with the École Française d’Athènes at the Project “Archives Gilliéron” and with the Louvre Museum for a forthcoming exhibition. She is currently working on a book project provisionally entitled Visiting is Seeing is Believing: Mount Athos in the Work of Modern Greek Artists. Dr. Tzani received her M.A. (2004) and her Ph.D. (2012) in Art History from the Université de Strasbourg, France. Her research was supported by several fellowships and grants (P. & E. Michelis Foundation, École Française d’Athènes, A.G. Leventis Foundation) and has been conducted in libraries, museums, public and private archives & collections throughout Europe and the U.S. She was trained as an Art Historian focusing on the reception of Greek artists in France in the twentieth century. Her Ph.D. dissertation documented and analyzed the work of Costas Dimitriadis (1879-1943), one of Greece’s best-known yet understudied sculptors of the modern age. Before that, she had earned two B.A.s, one in Archaeology and Art History (2002) and a second in French Language and Literature (2013) at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

About the Research Project

Crossroads of the Imagination: American, French, and Greek Representations of Mount Athos in the Popular Press

This project seeks to examine the romantic, picturesque, and oriental images that appeared in illustrated magazines, newspapers, and travelers’ accounts in the United States, France, and Greece in the 20th century. My project aims to analyze the choices of the words, monuments, and viewpoints of each author and each artist. It includes books, other written, photographic accounts and other artworks by American, French and Greek travelers. As audiences around the world consumed the publications described above, in this project, I propose to present photographs, books, and reproductions of documents and artworks (paintings, prints and photographs) that helped form the opinion of outsiders toward Mount Athos, this over-a-thousand-year old monastic community and cradle of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine culture. Most importantly, I seek to directly and creatively approach and contextualize the way that those audiences understood Mount Athos shortly before the global economic crisis of 1929 and till the first two decades after WWII.

Previous Roles

  • Visiting Research Fellow
    2023 - 2023