The time and the placeThe exhibition focuses mainly on the Melian society from 1850 until about 1930.In this period the population increases significantly: from 3.604 inhabitants in 1861, to 4.201 in 1879, 5.393 in 1907, and 4.941 in 1928. The island's prosperity is mainly a result of the reach mineral resources and of shipping.Agriculture is comparatively limited. Minerals and ores are being transported to Piraeus by Melian diesel sailing ships that return...more...From the old... In 1967 the Melian association in Athens decides to establish the Folk & Historic Museum of Melos. For this purpose, the house of Filippos Ikonomou family is bought, situated at a privileged spot at Plaka. Zafiris Vaos, a Melian folklorist, undertakes to set up a collection and stage an exhibition. He aims at presenting "the Melian house of the 19th century". Setting the example himself, he invites his fellow-islanders to donate family heirlooms to the museum. At the same time, other objects are bought to complete the collection. The objects - coming from mansions, urban and rural houses - are exhibited in the rooms of the house according to their function. In time the collection is enriched, but the objects get crammed in the existing space, the exhibitional view of Z. Vaos is no longer perceptible. The need to rearrange the exhibits and conserve the objects becomes an imperative....to the new museumA team consisting of museologists, an architect and art conservators undertakes the re-exhibition project. The team aims at presenting aspects of the island's social, economical and cultural life at the turn of the 20th century. In keeping with the spirit of the old exhibition, selected objects from the collection are presented in the rooms of the house according to their use. The objects are invested with concise texts and visual material.The point is not to represent exactly a specific Melian house type. Starting from often heterogeneous objects, the purpose is to enlighten aspects of the inhabitants' lives: their indoor and outdoor activities, foreign influences, their dietary and clothing preferences, their entertainment, their relation to nature. The whole attempt aspires to offer stimuli from a way of life different from our own, as to the space arrangement and the local resources exploitation.
FOLK & HISTORIC MUSEUM OF MELOS, MELIAN ASSOCIATION IN ATHENS