Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art in Thessaloniki
The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Thessaloniki, Macedonia: The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art is housed in the Helexpo Exhibition Centre, on Egnatia st. The aim of this museum is to promote Greek and international contemporary art throughout the world and to make a contribution to the Greek cultural life. The museum was initially housed in the Filkeram-Johnson factory but today it has been moved to the Helexpo Centre. It includes about 2,000 works of art of famous modern artists.
The museum has acquired its collections mostly through donations of collectors. The first donation, which forms the core of the Museum of Contemporary Art, was the donation of Alexandros Iolas, a great admirer and collector of works of modern arts. Alexandros Iolas donated 30 pieces of art and donations of other collectors followed. The museum currently exhibits not only paintings but also pieces of sculpture, photography, and engraving. To name a few artists whose works are displayed in the museum, we mention Barclay, Delacroix, Charpin, Raynaud, Oppenheim, Schmeisser, Simon, Vakalo, Zimmer, Fassianos and Tsoklis, among others.
However, this museum is not just a display of artworks. It is an active museum, which organizes exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists and competitions, publishes full catalogs of its exhibitions and loans works to other museums. Furthermore, the museum provides art courses to young children to help them discover their creativity. There are courses for young children and teenagers, where young artists can learn the basics of art-producing, create their own artworks and display them in exhibitions that are regularly held. Moreover, the museum cooperates with institutions, such as the Benaki Museum and the National Gallery, and organizes visual art exhibitions.
The museum extends on three floors. The first floor hosts the workrooms and ateliers where the art courses take place. The second floor houses the exhibition rooms, a cafe, a gift shop, a video room, the staff offices, and the stores. In the third floor, we can find other exhibition rooms, the conference hall, and the library. The museum shop sells books on contemporary art, copies of famous artworks with the signature of some artists and monographs on major art movements of the 20th century. The Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art certainly contributes a lot to the cultural life and esteem of the Thessaloniki.