One of the goals of the third facet of this project is to acquire all three oil paintings of Nikiforos Kalogeras in digital form. In this post, I will explain how I came to own the portrait from the Φιλεκπαιδευτική Εταιρεία.
I first found the image online on the website of the Modern Greek Visual Prosopography project of the Institute for Neohellenic Research (Ινστιτούτο Νεοελληνικών Ερευνών), back when I was researching who Nikiforos Kalogeras is. The link to the portrait and its information is here.
On that page, if you switch the language to Greek, you will see a lot of detailed information. What caught my eye was the following section:
This section says that the image’s reproduction source is a book entitled “Αρσάκεια-Τοσίτσεια Σχολεία 1836-1996”, published in Athens in 1996. It specifically lists page 368 as the source. I figured that if I could find that book at a library somewhere, I could pay for them to photocopy that page for me, and then I could have that image in high resolution, since it most likely takes up the whole page.
With this idea in mind, I researched where I could find a copy of that book, and I ended up settling on the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki‘s library which has a copy (see here for their information on the book) and which also has clearly defined reproduction guidelines and prices (see here).
So I emailed them on May 31st with my request, and since I had not heard anything by the next morning (being both very eager and very impatient), I called them to ask about it. The person responsible for the reproduction was off that day, so I would have to wait until he returned. When I woke up on the morning of the 2nd, he had already sent me an email with the page in question and the inner title page of the book (free of charge since it was such a small request). Below are the pages he photocopied for me:
Page 368 did indeed have the image of Nikiforos Kalogeras that I wanted, but unfortunately it did not fill the whole page like I wanted. In fact, when taking a full size snip of the image from the page, the image was smaller than what was online on the Prosopography website.
This left me very disappointed, and I almost abandoned the idea of gathering the paintings in that moment, but my eye caught something on the page suddenly; if I had not seen this, I would not have acquired the painting in the end. At the bottom of the first paragraph, it says: “Σήμερα οἱ πίνακες αὐτοί κοσμοῦν τό μέγαρο Διοικήσεως τῆς Φιλεκπαιδευτικῆς Ἑταιρείας,” that is, “Today, these paintings adorn the Administrative building of the Society for Promoting Education and Learning.” The book was published in 1996, but I figured there was still a chance that the painting was there, so I decided to call the Φιλεκπαιδευτική Εταιρεία and see.
I called and explained to the secretary what I wanted, and she gave me the phone number and extension of the president’s office, but then transferred me through herself. The line was busy, so after a few more minutes I called again myself. The secretary at that office said that the president was not in, but that I could send an email explaining who I am, what I want, and why I want it, and my request would be examined for feasibility. So I did that.
The next morning, on June 3rd, I received an email with two images of the painting from the Φιλεκπαιδευτική Εταιρεία (one with the frame and one without). The images can be found here, along with information about the painting’s artist, date, and exact location.
The topic of publishing rights didn’t cross my mind until the topic was brought up to me later on, while I was searching for the other two paintings. On June 14th, I contacted the Φιλεκπαιδευτική Εταιρεία again and asked what permissions I have for the images that they had sent me. I did not receive a reply, so I called on the 17th, and the secretary said that she would speak with the president in person to see what permissions I would have for the image, though she did not foresee any issues.
On June 20th, she emailed me back saying: “Μπορείτε, εάν θελήσετε, να δημοσιεύσετε τις φωτογραφίες τού Καλογερά. Δεν χρειάζεται κάτι άλλο από εμάς.” That is, “You can, if you will want to, publish the photographs of Kalogeras. Nothing else is needed from us.” So the issue of reproduction rights for this specific painting was resolved without issue. As of the original writing of this post, I have chosen not to upload or make public the full-resolution image to this website or anywhere else (only a 25% scale version), but I may in the future, as this project develops.