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Elektra Mangoletsi


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Ithell Colquhoun, by Elektra Mangoletsi - NPG D4409

Ithell Colquhoun

by Elektra Mangoletsi
pencil, 1933
NPG D4409

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James Ritchie

16 December 2017, 07:45

Elektra Elena Megaw (nee Mangoletsi) (1905-93) was born into a prominent Christian Orthodox family from Koritsa, now in Albania (its close proximity to Greece and its largely Orthodox population had led to it being fiercely contested in the late Ottoman period). She was born in Thessaloniki, brought up in Manchester and educated at the Slade, and at University College, London.

She was an accomplished artist with both a strong aesthetic imagination and an interest in ethnography. She was particularly talented as a botanical artist and provided the illustrations for the seminal work on the flora of Cyprus (‘Wild flowers of Cyprus’ by Elektra Megaw and Desmond Meikle; Phillimore & Co. Ltd.,1973).

In 1937 she married Arthur Hubert Stanley ‘Peter’ Megaw CBE (1910-2006), an Irish born architectural historian and archaeologist (see Times Obituary). He served as the first Director of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus between 1935 and 1960, and as Director of the British School at Athens from 1962 to 1968. Following his early retirement, he joined the Harvard Centre for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC as a visiting scholar.

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