The Benaki Museum is the oldest museum in Greece operating as a Foundation under Private Law. It was founded in 1929 by Antonis Benakis. With the personal collection of its founder as the core, it was housed in the Benaki family residence, at 1, Koumpari street.
The Museum hosts representative works and archives of all eras of the Greek and global artistic production. Its particular nature received great response and fascinated new benefactors and donors, thanks to whom its assets were multiplied, its collections were enriched, and its activities were broadened. The expansion of its facilities and the creation of several departments played a significant role:
- The new building of 138 Piraeus Street, opened in 2004, where periodic exhibitions of contemporary and modern Greek architecture are organized and the Archives of Contemporary Greek Architecture are kept. - The Keramikos Building Complex (22 Aghion Assomaton Street), a donation by Lambros Eftaxias, which houses since 2004 the Islamic Art Collections. - The Delta House in Kifissia, which houses since 1994, the Department of Historical Archives. - The Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Ghika Gallery, 3 Kriezotou Street, donated by the artist himself at the Benaki Museum. In 1991, a permanent exhibition of works from all artistic fields of the donor began to operate. After its shutdown for maintenance and renovation, the Art Gallery reopened in 2012, with additional spaces for the new intellectual and artistic creation in Greece by the end of the First World War to the eve of the dictatorship in 1967. - The Yannis Pappas Studio, in Zografou, donated in 2002. It hosts works by the artist in his family residence. The studio continues to be a working space for students of the Athens School of Fine Arts. - Finally, the "Mentis Donation" includes the building of the old crafts industry at 6, Polyfimou street, all the stored goods and the equipment of the homonymous textile industry.
The Benaki Museum supports a variety of research activities over a wide range of disciplines, from Cultural and Social Sciences to Information Technology. Its multifaceted structure includes a Department for the Conservation of Artworks, a Photographic Material Management Department, an IT Department, as well as Historical, Photographic, Contemporary Greek Architecture and Representational Arts Archives
Angelos Delivorias has been Director of the Benaki Museum over the last 41 years, until 2014.