National Geographic’s Greece in Color from the 1920s


Enjoy these beautiful, rare images of Greece in color, captured from the camera of Maynard Owen Williams in the 1920s.

Williams was a National Geographic correspondent from 1919 and for most of the 1920s. He was an avid traveller who began visiting foreign countries in his teens, exploring Asia and even witnessing the Russian Revolution, among other adventures.

Williams was the National Geographic’s first foreign correspondent, and his reports include a description of the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1923.

Although Williams pioneered travel photography, he wrote numerous foreign dispatches for the magazine, including a 1949 report from post-Civil War Greece where he returned nearly two decades after his early trip, only to find a different nation than the one he first visited in 1919.

The Maynard Owen Williams Prize for creative nonfiction at Kalamazoo College is named in his memory.



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    • These images were taken in the 1920s, they have long ago entered the public domain. You were under no obligation to pay them anything, legally speaking.

  2. Despina Merambeliotis on

    These are stunning photographs, and so rare. Thanks for sharing with the wider community.

  3. Lovely photos but for me they would be more powerful in black and white. I loved the photos of Constantine Manos you showed in the Pappas Post last year. My husband Panos said they took him back to his memories of when he was growing up in Greece.

  4. Pingback: Δες την υπέροχη Κρήτη μας!!! National Geographic’s Greece in Color from the 1920s - iscreta

  5. The photo of the Greek lady sitting kitting in Aivali, stirs deep emotions for me. My maternal Grandmother Eleni Filippou (nee Moraitis) was from Aivali, she was born in 1909 and died in 1975, in Adekaide South Australia. She immigrated to Australia in 1967. Only God knows, but I can’t help but think, I might be looking at a photo of my Great-Grandmother…..

    • Helen on April 30, 2016 who mentioned Eleni Moraitis Filippou: I believe we might be distantly related via Alexandros Tsiminis. I came across this by accident, and just started searching for any connection.
      I hope you read this! If you think there is that connection, please reply and we can arrange to communicate.

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