The Nicolas and Elena Calas Archive

In 1999 the Danish Institute at Athens received 34 large parcels containing the material that was to become the Nicolas and Elena Calas Archive.

The parcels, containing material on the Greek-American surrealist poet and art historian Nicolas Calas, had been sent from the Lousiana Museum of Modern Art north of Copenhagen, where they had been stored for almost ten years.

The material, which consists of e.g. letters, essays, articles and photos, has been organised and catalogued and can now be consulted in the reading room of the Nordic Library.

Nicolas Calas (Νίκολας Κάλας) was a major contributor to the diffusion and evolution of the avant-garde, with essays on literature, politics, art and cinema. An active member of the French surrealist group since 1937, he settled in Paris and published his first collection of essays, encouraged by André Breton. His arrival in New York in 1940 plays an important role in the dissemination of surrealism in the United States.

Further information on Calas’ life and work may be found in this Wikipedia article.

In the Greek State Television (ERT) Digital Archives a documentary on his life and work is available.

A short catalogue of the Calas archive is accessible here, and the full Calas archive catalogue (in pdf format) can be downloaded here.