Polygnotos Vagis MuseumA worldwide artist from Thassos...
"The artist must always experiment on art's basic truth seeking fight for his senses development and express his own nature.."
It was a sun shining morning of August 1981 when the inhabitants of Potamia draped their houses with national flags and multicolored carpets and gathered into the old primary school to celebrate their compatriot Polygnotos Vagis' sculptures return. It was the opening ceremony of Polygnotos Vagis Museum that ever since lodges the work of the emigrant Thassian sculptor to his own homeland village.
Vagis was born on January 14th, 1892 from a Thassian father-carpenter and wood-carver-and mother from a well-known marine family of Hydra. At the of 19 years he leaves his country still dominated by Turks and migrates to New York. It was the time of the big migration current to America. He starts occupying himself with sculpture and serves to American Navy during the 1st World War. On 1919 he acquires the American citizenship and is registered to "Beaux Arts Institute" of New Work where he studies sculpture for three approximately years. Living in the large melting-pot of New Cosmos he will manage to keep alive his artistic roots that connect him with the classic ancient Greek sculpture. On 1933, at the age of 41 years, he settles in Long Island of New York and has an extraordinary productive period. He develops a personal style of expression proceeding more and more with the removal and simplicity and gets condescended among the pioneers of modern sculpture art.Forms hints on natural matter
That is the period of maturity. The sculptor leaves his atelier and gets out in nature, goes for strolls to beaches and forests and collects his materials, stones, pebbles, granites and woods. He works now with the technique of "direct sculpture", intervenes namely only marginal on natural matter until he will release from inside it the figure he imagined that is inherent: a fish, a bird, a mood, a man, a women universal figures and pan archaic symbolisms. The essence of his art is in one of Vagis himself phrases: "I feel that I liberate the stone and do not subjugate it".
On 1963 he makes his first trip to Greece and on 1964 leaves his last will, the Testament:"I bequeath all my works to my people and the Government of Greece under the order to be placed in a National Museum or Library erected by it and preferably at Thassos Islands, my homeland". Polygnotos Vagis passes away on March 15th, 1965 at the Veterans Hospital of New York. The Government honoring the artists and his work transferred his corpse to his private homeland where he was buried with distinguished honors.
Folklore Museum of Theologos
In a central point of the village you can see the mansion of Chatzigeorgis the Thassian chieftain, a marvelous complex of buildings that is now the cultural association's folkloric museum. The museum of Theologos is very nice and you will not want to miss it during your Thassos holidays. While here, you should enjoy a good meal just down the street at the Taverna Lambiris.
Folklore Museum of Limenaria
It is lodged at the building of the old Community, in the center of Limenaria , and it is operated by the local cultural association "KASTRO", since 1991. In the first room, you will see various old objects, such as tools of traditional professions (barber's, carpenter's, tailor's, apiarist's, lumberjack's, wine producer's, baker's) utensils of the household, a loom with all its elements, many types of hand-woven materials and traditional costumes of Thassos. The second room houses a big collection of historical photographs of Limenaria and Thassos, as well as a gallery with sculptural, woodcut and mosaic work by Kostas Lovoulos, hagiographies by Dimitris Varias, ceramic by Kostas Hrysogelos and paintings by Vasilis Halkias. As a warm "welcome", you will be treated with thassian traditional sweets.
Folklore Museum of Kallirachi
It is lodged in a renovated residence of 19th century, which was bought from the Community of Kallirachi and was turned into a Folklore Museum, by the local cultural association, last summer. The interior arrangement and furnishing look precisely like a traditional house of that time, including the wooden "hagiati" (balcony), viewing the sea, two bedrooms with fireplaces and woodcut wardrobes, a small kitchen and a room where the women of the house used to wove at the loom and embroider. The "katoi" (cellar) was useful for the storage of oil and other goods, but also for the housing of domestic animals, during the wintry months.
Source: The newspaper "The Thassiaki" - Special Edition