The Costume Museum of the Lykeion ton Ellinidon (CMLE) is one of the most important depositories of regional costumes from the pre-industrial society of historic Greece, as well as clothing and accessories from the early urban societies of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Along with the garments inspired by Minoan, Ancient Greek, and Byzantine history and created at the Lykeion ton Ellinidon during the first few decades of the 20th Century – in the spirit of the unbroken continuity of Hellenic culture that was then prominent – as well as several more recent, and contemporary to the era, costuming items, the CMLE’s collections offer visitors a panorama of the history and culture of Hellenic costumes.
The primary and constant aim of the CMLE is to promote knowledge around costuming and clothing and to contribute to their conservation, research, documentation and showcasing.
Its goal is to convert the cultural “deposit” stored therein into a cultural “product”, with humans as the end consumer. Through exhibitions, events, lectures, publications, activities, and educational programmes, but also through expanding the museum’s activity to online spaces, the CMLE aspires to be in constant communication and interaction with the public, encouraging everyone to actively participate.
The work of the CMLE is inseparable from its responsibility and mission, and can be summarised as follows:
The preservation, enrichment and showcasing of collections, mostly through organising exhibitions, educational activities, events, and lectures, as well as through producing publications, either independently or in partnership with other cultural and educational bodies.
The archiving and scientific documentation of collections, with the assistance of modern technology.
The safekeeping and conservation of collections and archives according to best practices.
The mobility of items between museums and related cultural organisations, through (co)organising regular exhibitions and loans.
Establishing contact with local communities and involving them in the production of the museum narrative.
The collaboration with groups and professionals, both those with related interests and those from fields “unacquainted” with this topic (for example, the modern visual arts), with the aim of promoting interdisciplinary, cross-thematic and artistic synergies.
The participation of visitors in museum practice, through the encouragement of interactive observation.
The continuous enrichment of the library with publications of costuming interest, in the service of scientific research and providing information to staff and visitors.