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AGE OF GODS Athena Collection Preview – Spring ’12



POST CARD Age of Gods



“The Gods are favoring us.” Unknown ancient Greek 2,500 years ago…during the AGE OF GODS




It is my pleasure to introduce to you a sampling of my new Spring ’12 Collection AGE of GODS Athena which was inspired to me by the glorious ancient Greek Goddess Athena.

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Goddess Athena reappears … at a jewelry Art show

GODDESS ATHENA reappears in NYC.


If you have been reading my posts, I am sure you read about the ancient Greek Goddess who inspired me on designing my spring ’12 jewelry collection, the majestic Goddess Athena. It started with my recent visit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the discovery of her divine existence at the museum’s facade. Well, this experience resulted in the birthing of the AGE OF GODS – Athena Collection, which I will introduce  to all very soon.

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I was so thrilled today, to meet Goddess Athena again, and so soon after my recent encounter with her at the Met!  While visiting  an Estate Jewelry show featuring mostly magnificent “collector’s” pieces, I came across the most stunning cameo! The dealer said, ” I don’t really know if its Athena…I am debating…  it could be Artemis  or Minerva.”

“This is Athena for sure!” I replied. ” I know my Greek Goddesses! Without a doubt, this is the helmeted Goddess of war strategy wearing an olive wreath around her signature warrior helmet symbolizing peace and prosperity. And Minerva, is the Roman name of Athena [as we know, the Romans respectfully adopted the Greek culture including its Gods and Goddess.”]

What a beautiful vintage piece! I am still thinking of this magnificent treasure. I know it’s going to be mine eventually because I cannot stop thinking about it! I felt like it “spoke” to me, saying, how much it will enjoy the company of my other pieces! Beauty loves company. That is what I say!

I will be back soon with more glamour, history, gods and goddesses…and more.


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Ancient Greek goddess Athena – part II

Age of Gods – Athen

As I mentioned on my previous post, goddess Athena, was the patron divinity of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, warfare, strength, strategy, arts, crafts, justice and skill.

Athena was also a shrewd companion and patron of heroes. She is the goddess of heroic endeavour.  The metal work of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles as the disciplined, strategic side of war. Although she was the goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without a purpose and prefered to use wisdom to settle predicaments. She only  encouraged  fighting for a reasonable cause, or to resolve conflict.         


Goddess – Inspired Jewelry


Next to God Zeus, the king of  ancient Greek Gods,   Athena was the second most important goddess in Ancient Greece. She was Zeus’s favorite daughter and she was the only one that he actually birthed himself – according to the myths. It is said that her mother was Metis,  the Titan goddess of wisdom and the original wife of Zeus.

Here is Athena’s interesting birth story: Zeus came to power by overthrowing his father Chronus. Cronuses’s mother, the great earth goddess Gaia, foretold a prophesy in which one of Cronuses’s children will eventually overthrow him and take control of both gods and men alike. Cronus decided that the solution to this problem was to devour each and every one of his children after they were born. Eventually, his wife, Rhea, couldn’t take it anymore and gave him a stone wrapped in a baby blanket, which he promptly swallowed – thus saving her last son, Zeus, from this terrible fate.

Eventually Zeus fulfilled the prophesy by overthrowing his father. He became king of gods and men and the days of the Titans rule were gone. Gaia had another prophesy once Zeus became an adult – she foretold that his wife, Metis, would give birth to a son who would overthrow Zeus the way he overthrew his father. Knowing this, Zeus devoured Metis while she was pregnant. His plan worked that he never had a son by Metis, but what Zeus didn’t realize was that his daughter by Metis [ the baby was a girl] was more strong-willed than he imagined.

After a bout of terrible headaches Zeus begged the blacksmith God Hephestus to split his head open to relieve the pressure. Out popped the goddess Athena, fully dressed in armor and ready to do battle – according to the myths and legends. Her father was the most powerful and her mother the wisest among the gods, so Athena was the combination o the two – power and wisdom harmoniously blended.

In contradiction with her brother Ares, the god of war, chaotic battle, blood lust, ferocity, courage and violence, Athena was the goddess of strategy, organized fighting, advanced weaponry and skilled manipulation on the battlefield. If Ares was offence, Athena was defence. If Ares represented pure force Athena represented controlled strength. It was her wisdom and strategic planning that often turned the side of the battle to the victor. Athena is usually shown with the Goddess Nike (Victory) at her side.

Images above and below. Giagantomachia (Battle of the Giants) marble relief sculpture frieze from the Great Altar of Zeus at Pergamont. 

Athena battles Alkyoneus  in the War of the Giants. The giant is winged with the serpentine legs. His mother Gaia, top image, rises up from the earth [Chronus had more children after Zeus split him open in his attempt to overthrow him, the rest of the children spilled out from his body] besides him. Athena is attended by the winged  goddess Nike. Hellenistic style200 BC.

Athena is mostly depicted armed holding an Argolic shield [featuring  the head of gorgon Medusa at its center] and a spear.  She is crowned with a crested golden helmet usually pushed back to reveal her elegant beauty. Her helmet is usually ornamented in the most beautiful manner with griffins, heads of rams, horses and sphinxes.  Her garment is usually the Spartan tunic without sleeves, and over it, she is wearing a snake-trimmed Aigis cloak wrapped around her breast and arm -adorned with the monstrous head of gorgon Medusa. Her general expression is of thoughtfulness and earnestness. Her whole figure is majestic, strong and slender and usually she is holding some of her favorite objects such as an olive tree branch [symbol of peace and prosperity] and an owl [symbol of clarity, vision and wisdom].

It is important to note that Athena was known as well for her role as a judge, diplomat and mediator. Her decisions were renown for their fairness and compassion. She was frequently called upon to settle disputes between gods and various mortals. The goddess of wisdom was known for her superb logic and intellect. Her decisions were usually  well-considered, highly ethical, and seldom motivated by self-interest.

More than any other of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses, Athena, remains an icon, a timeless symbol of civilization, useful knowledge, noble reasoning, logic and wisdom. She is such an inspiration to me as an artist and in creating  my new  Spring ’12 jewelry collection: Age of gods – Athena.

Coming soon Age of Gods ATHENA collection – Spring’12 by Susanna Galanis


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Greek Goddess Athena at the Met in New York City

MY VISIT AT THE MET – The Age of Gods




When I am missing Greece so much, or when meeting friends, or when I am having the blues,  I always go to the Metropolitan Museum – the Greek and Roman Galleries to be more specific. Picture Audrey Hepburn in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  The Met is my “go to” place – I feel at home. It is one of my favorite places to be. Instant transformation into another era: The Age of Gods. Thank God I live in New York City blocks away. Talking about God, on my recent visit last Sunday, looking up, admiring the divinity of this magnificent building and the beautiful architecture, walking up the stairs, feeling mesmerized and full of anticipation I discovered … a Greek Goddess.


The magnificent Museum’s Beaux-Arts  Fifth Avenue (82nd Street) facade and Great Hall, designed by the architect and founding Museum Trustee Richard Morris Hunt, opened to the public in December 1902. The Evening Post reported that at last New York had a neoclassical palace of art, “one of the finest in the world, and the only public building in recent years which approaches the dignity and grandeur of the museums of the old world.” 

In 2006, the Museum’s facade received a face lift (had a little work done, which took 4 years and $12.2 million to complete) and all the structural elements were restored as near as possible to their original 1902 grace. I was amazed with the perfection! Looking up right front and center, at the very top arch of the main entrance was a beautiful Grecian helmeted face – the same figure was at the top of the identical entries on the left and right. Who is this beautiful figure I wondered? It must have some kind of significance — otherwise it wouldn’t be there gazing in such a prominent, peacefully superior manner at New York’s Fifth Avenue and the millions of people entering the Museum through the years. I was captivated! I asked around, did some research, and I discovered she is The Greek Goddess Athena.  No wonder I felt the Greek hospitality every time I was visiting. No wonder I felt I was going home. No wonder I was drawn back again and again…



The architect, Mr. Richard Morris Hunt, mentioned above was inspired by a copy of the original bronze statue of Athena which today can be seen at The Louvre Museum in Paris – the name of this statute is called Athena of Velletri. Several copies were made by the Romans and this one was found at the Villa of Velletri in Italy. It is a copy of the original Greek bronze possibly created in 430 BC by Kresilas.

Image left:   Athena of Velletri at the Louvre  – Roman marble copy around 100 AD





Ancient Greek Goddess Athena was the mythological goddess  of wisdom, but also the poetic symbol of reason and purity. Goddess Athena was very important to the Greeks, since they named her the Iliad’s goddess of fight, the warrior-defender, the protector of civilized life and the artisan [spinning, weaving, gold crafting] activities. More specifically, she was the goddess of civilization and the more disciplined side of war choosing to win wars with effective strategies and not blood lust and violence. Athena often appears to be helmeted and armed and with a shield bearing the Gorgon Medusa’s head. This armed warrior goddess appears in Greek mythology as the helper of many heroes, including Heracles, Jason and Odysseus. She had never a consort or a lover, and thus often was  known as Athena Parthenos (“Athena the Virgin”), hence her most famous temple, The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens.

Goddess Athena gave the name to the city of Athens. The patron deity of the city of Athens she was the creator of the olive tree and desire of peace. She was admired and worshiped all over Greece, but her timeless home has always been Athens.  According to  ancient Greek myths and legends, she won in the competition with the God Poseidon over the patronage of the city state of Athens. Poseidon hit the ground with his trident and running water came out, while Athena offered an olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity.


Creator of peace, justice, wisdom and  prosperity, guardian of cities, and protector of the arts these are the characteristics of Goddess Athena – this is what she is offering us here with her eternal presence at the top of the grand entrance of New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. We are so blessed and honored with her divine presence and divine inspiration for attaining peace and prosperity ourselves. During these challenging times we can all be inspired  — and we are!

She is not Athena at the Parthenon,  but, Athena at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We will take it.



Images below: Greek and Roman Galleries recently renovated at the Met.