HPW’s Inspiring Women series profiles remarkable Greek-American professional women whose stories of success inspire and encourage us to achieve our own career goals and aspirations.
Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum
Ioanna is Director of the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum, which was founded by her father in 1993, as the first jewelry museum in Greece. The unique Museum is a non-profit organization, devoted to the art of jewelry and the decorative arts. The Museum’s permanent collection includes over 4,000 pieces from over 50 collections designed by her father and is enriched with jewelry and decorative arts from around the world.
Ioanna Lalaounis always loved the artistry of jewelry… not only as beautiful adornments, but as a reflection of a society’s culture. As a child, she could not wait to be on vacation from school so that she could go to jewelry workshops with her father, the famed jewelry designer Ilias Lalaounis. She was fascinated with art history and earned her Master’s Degree on the subject at Boston University. It is no surprise that Ioanna was drawn to the cultural aspects of jewelry and jewelry-making, particularly how ancient goldsmith techniques inspired 20th Century designs.
But where Ilias Lalaouis saw the museum as a gallery, Ioanna envisioned a cultural and educational environment. She also wanted everybody who visited the museum to have fun! Ioanna has established both an educational and entertaining experience at the museum. She’s made it fun for kids with fourteen different programs designed for students ranging from first grade through high school. She also makes it interesting with hands-on programs that give visitors a chance to work with the tools of the trade.
“So much is necessary for young people in our society,” states Lalaounis. “We need to train young professionals to work with their culture and heritage.”
In a special cultural event hosted by Hellenic American Women’s Council (HAWC) and Hellenic Professional Women (HPW), Ioanna Lalaounis will give a special presentation, Putting Greek Jewelry on the World Map: Ilias Lalaounis and the Revival of the Classical Tradition, on Monday, June 29, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Hughes, Hubbard and Reed in Manhattan.
The presentation will be illustrated with some of Lalaounis’ most exquisite designs and will explain how history and the material remains of the past provided inspiration for modern Greek Jewelry in the second half of the 20th century, while at the same time enabling the revival of a traditional craft. For more information about the Museum, please go to www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr/en/.