Poppy Sfakianaki

Hannah Seeger Davis Postdoctoral Research Fellow, 2021-2022

  • Degree
    Ph.D., Art History, University of Crete, 2020
    Dissertation
    Teriade, Art Critic and Publisher, 1926-1975
    Research Project
    A Cultural Mediator of the Mediterranean: Hercule Joannidès Between France and Greece
Contact Info

Poppy Sfakianaki is an art historian whose research interests focus on modern art, and more specifically on the art press, mediators in the art world, cultural transfers, and the construction of the artists’ image. She holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Crete where she also completed her undergraduate studies in History and Archeology and an M.A. in Art History. During her M.A. studies she received scholarships from the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (Ι.Κ.Υ.) and the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FO.R.T.H., while archival research for her dissertation in Paris was funded by The Panayotis and Effie Michelis Foundation. She has participated in several research projects, such as “From the landscape of the Romantics to Land Art: Representations of the Greek landscape in the arts from the 18th until the late 20th century” at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/FO.R.T.H., Rethymno, Greece, and “Répertoire de cent revues francophones d’histoire et de critique d’art dans la première moitié du XXe siècle” at the Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art (INHA), Paris, France. She has published articles in peer reviewed academic journals and edited volumes, and has participated in international conferences. Her book project, based on her Ph.D. dissertation, concerns Tériade (Efstratios Eleftheriadis, 1897–1983), a Greek-born art critic and publisher of modern art who was an important cultural mediator in the Parisian art world of the interwar and postwar periods.

About the Research Project

A Cultural Mediator of the Mediterranean: Hercule Joannidès Between France and Greece

This project analyzes the role of Hercule Joannidès (1897–1950) in cultural transfers between France and Greece during the interwar period while also exploring this Paris-based emigrant’s identity as an in-between figure with a strong and enduring vision of and connection to his homeland. Joannidès, a Greek from Istanbul, aspired to promote Greece’s historical, cultural and natural heritage among the French intelligentsia and wealthy bourgeoisie. To achieve his goal, he organized cruises from France to Greece through his shipping company “Neptos” and published the magazine Le voyage en Grèce (1934–1939). The project proposes an interdisciplinary approach that combines art history with concepts and methods from other disciplines, such as the notion of cultural mediator, network theory, cultural transfer theory, and qualitative migration research. Furthermore, it contextualizes Joannidès’ activity within the cultural debates in interwar France that identified an idealized Mediterranean with the eternal values of the European South as opposed to the German-dominated North. The project is based on Joannidès’ unpublished journaux intimes and his correspondence collected from various European archives.

Current Roles

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow