Pericles Papachatzidakis (1905-1990)

Pericles Papachatzidakis was born in Asia Minor in the town of Kato Panaghia in 1905. In 1914 he moved with his family to Chios where he spent his youth. 

A keen traveller and ardent amateur photographer, he trekked over Chios, documenting the monuments, traditional settlements, landscape, and scenes from the island’s daily life with his camera. Along with his associate Georgios Tsimas and Nikolaos Kontoleon—then still a student—he set up a photography studio whose purpose was to "portray the ancestral heritage".

In 1930, in collaboration with Tsimas, he published, the handmade photograph albums "Nea Moni" and "Pyrgi". Although the albums constituted a publishing failure, they made a good impression in Athens and were praised by the professors of Byzantine art, A. Orlandos, G. Sotiriou and A. Xyngopoulos. Papachatzidakis also undertook to publish the "Chios Album" at his own expense, in 10 monthly issues, on which prominent historians and art historians collaborated. Subsequently, he moved to Athens, where he and Tsimas opened a photography studio.

He travelled over most of Greece, documenting ancient and Byzantine monuments, traditional settlements and natural landscapes, frequently collaborating with the Academy of Athens, the University of Athens and the Archaeological Society. In 1980, upon retiring, he returned to Chios, where he passed the final years of his life, studying the island’s local history and writing articles for local newspapers. He died in 1990, bequeathing all his writings and printed material to the library "Pharos" of the Varvasios Cultural Association on Chios.

Papachatzidakis’ photographs constitute a very valuable source of information for researchers, historians, architects and archaeologists. Portions of his archives are located at the Ministry of Culture, the Benaki Museum, the Archaeological Society and the Homereion Cultural Centre on Chios.