The Benaki Museum presents the retrospective exhibition "Nelly's", from 24 February 2023 to 23 July 2023.

The year 2023 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary since the death of photographer Elly Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari (1899-1998), better known as Nelly’s. The Benaki Museum, to which she entrusted her valuable oeuvre in 1984, pays tribute to her with a retrospective exhibition which reintroduces the artist to today’s public. Her diverse work is arranged in three chapters corresponding to the three cities in which she shaped her photographic point-of-view: from her student years in Dresden in the early ’20s to her arrival in Athens, where she cut a dynamic figure within the city’s photographic world, and on to New York, where, in 1966, she finally retired after twenty-seven years of tireless work in the U.S.A.

The arrangement of her photographic oeuvre into groups illustrates the vast array of themes that triggered her lens during the forty-five years of her professional involvement with the medium. Well-known photographs from her numerous publications are complemented by new and heretofore unseen works, in an attempt to highlight the diverse aesthetic trends that she followed as well as the many techniques with which she experimented, both in black & white and colour. The exhibition is accompanied by magazines, posters, and postcards, which help visitors understand the use of her photographic works in context, as well as rare cinematic footage and some of the photographic equipment that she used in Greece and the U.S.A.

The narrative of the exhibition begins with her studies in Dresden (1920-1923) and presents samples of her work in portrait, dance and nude photography. This is followed by her arrival in Athens and her dynamic presence on the city's photographic scene from 1924 to 1939. The third and final section is devoted to her work in New York from 1939 to 1966. This is the least known period of her work, despite the fact that she lived and worked there for twenty-seven years.

The exhibition concludes with a brief presentation of her paintings on porcelain.

Elli Soujultzoglou-Seraidari (Nelly's) The Russian dancer Elizaveta (Lila) Nikolska at the Acropolis, November 1930 | © Benaki Museum/Photographic Archives

Elli Sooyouultzoglou-Seraidari (Nelly's). Members of the Oceanides dance posing at the ancient theatre of Delphi, 1927. | © Benaki Museum/Photographic Archives

© Menelaos Myrillas

© Menelaos Myrillas

© Menelaos Myrillas

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