Art and architecture have played a prominent part in the School's research from the time of its first Director, Francis Cranmer Penrose (1886-87), a renowned student of Greek architecture, architect of the Upper House, and a watercolourist whose works are well represented in the School's collections. Study of traditional crafts, from textiles to water jars, document traditions fast dying out across Greece: the research records of the Archive and Fitch Laboratory are a major resource for students of early modern applied arts in the Mediterranean. Practitioners too - artists in all media, and conservators - are supported via our awards and internships.
Current major projects and awards include:
- Byzantium East and West: The unique archive of the architects of the Byzantine Research Fund is one of the most important collections held in the School (read more on the Archive pages). It includes records of monuments now lost, and of phases of change in cities such as Thessaloniki in the turbulent early decades of the 20th century. Born of the Arts and Crafts movement in Britain, the work of the Byzantine Research Fund offers a distinctive perspective on the impact of Hellenism on British architecture and applied art from the late 19th century until the second world war. A major research project is now underway to explore these issues, with a conference planned for 2013. For further information, contact the Archivist.
- Linking ancient and modern pottery production on Aegina, the Fitch Laboratory is collaborating in a study of the environmental and cultural dynamics affecting the rise and fall of specialised pottery production on the island. The study compares peaks of production and export in the 2nd millennium BC, the Archaic-Classical period, and the mid 19th to mid 20th century AD, when Aegina was renowned for its water jars, mostly bound for the fast-developing urban centres of Athens and Peiraeus. Work will continue on the rare ethnographical record gathered in the course of the project. Please contact the Fitch Laboratory Director.
The Arts Bursary of the British School at Athens allows practicing artists in the widest sense to spend time in Greece. This is not an award tied to a studio - while we welcome artists in residence, our intention is to enable award holders to enrich their work via contact with Greece past and present, from Minoan Crete to urban Athens. The renaissance in the artistic life of Athens since the 2004 Olympics, with the opening of new exhibition spaces such as Technopolis and the cultural centre of the Benaki Museum (Peiraios), makes the city a stimulating and challenging place to work.