Robert McCabe’s Stunning Photos of 1950s Mykonos On Display

Striking photographs of Mykonos in the 1950s, which were beautifully captured by acclaimed photographer Robert McCabe, will be on display on the popular Cycladic island until the end of the year. 

The beautiful images taken by McCabe will be shown at the Mykonos castle and archaeological museum until December 31, 2021. Titled “The island that captivated the world: Mykonos of the ’50s,” it includes photographs from McCabe’s remarkable book on the island before it became one of Greece’s most popular destinations. 

Insights Greece - Robert McCabe’s Stunning Photos of 1950s Mykonos On Display
Mykonos Harbour in the 50s (image by Robert McCabe)

McCabe first visited Mykonos in the summer of 1955, and at the time was one of around fifteen visitors on the island. He recalls there were no cars, motorbikes, running water, and little electricity. 

There was, however, a traditional island culture – with its own dances, songs, poetry, cuisine, textiles, architecture, even language; it was this rich culture, and this magical scenery, that McCabe set himself to document, on that initial journey and on a return visit for the National Geographic Magazine in 1957. 

McCabe’s wonderful photography re-creates a daylong visit to the island (as it was back then) and includes photos of visitors disembarking from a ship in the Old Harbour, locals wandering the picturesque streets of Chora (the main town); breathtaking views of the harbour and locals going about their daily tasks: doing their laundry by the shore, delivering well water in a cart, shopping at the grocer’s.

Insights Greece - Robert McCabe’s Stunning Photos of 1950s Mykonos On Display
A local in Chora in the 50s (image by Robert McCabe)

The exhibition will also include images McCabe captured of festivals, dances, and special Feast Days that took place on the island- bringing the spirit of Mykonos to life. 

And for those who can’t get to Mykonos this year, Robert McCabes’ book Mykonos: Portrait of a Vanished Era is available worldwide as a hardcover. Every photograph in the book is reproduced as a full-page tritone and accompanied by a detailed caption. 

About the Author/Photographer

Robert McCabe was born in Chicago in 1934. He started taking photographs in 1939 with a Kodak Brownie given to him by his father, who published a tabloid newspaper in New York. In 1957, he photographed widely in the Cyclades at the request of the National Geographic Magazine, and he continues to photograph in Greece today. His fifteen published books encompass Greece, Cuba, China, Antarctica, and Central Park, and his forthcoming projects include The Last Monk of the Strofades, The Greeks and Their Seas, Santorini Before the Earthquake, Kasos 1965, A Portrait of Patmos, and The Waterways of France. He believes that photography is the perfect medium for what he calls poetic realism. 

*Images by Robert McCabe © (Copyright)