First Night of the Georgian Museums

The now-traditional night when all the museums open their doors to visitors free of charge until the small hours has already become a popular phenomenon around the world. Georgia will be taking part in it for the first time this year on May 21 and conducting a series of large-scale events in advance of the night in the framework of Museum Week.

Throughout Georgia 40 museums will be presenting performances and other activities alongside their permanent exhibitions: tours, lectures, concerts of classical and folk music, scientific and educational games, public readings, performances, debates, conferences, poetry readings and more.

Preparation for the first ‘Night of the Museums’ in Georgia began with the traditional meeting of Mikheil Giorgadze, the Minister of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia, with representatives of the country’s museums on May17 where he awarded representatives of the museums guidebooks and introduced them to a new online platform which is set to become a unique repository of all museum exhibits.

“You will find there all the information about the exhibits we have, where they are stored, as well as their condition and restoration procedures. Moreover, museums often change their exhibits and on this website you will also be able to see their current shows,” the Minister said.

The Minister claimed that the online platform, to be launched at the end of June, would be useful for specialists, ordinary citizens and tourists who want to find out more about the country’s cultural values.

The Georgian National Museum (GNM) kicked off Museum Week with the opening of the 120th anniversary exhibition of famous portraitist Ketevan Magalashvili at the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery. The artist played a significant role in developing Georgian portrait art and created chronicles of Georgian art and the scientific elite.

GNM’s Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts opened the ‘Avant-garde 1900-1937’ exhibition on International Museum Day on May 18, giving visitors the chance to see the unique paintings and drawings of Georgian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and Italian avant-garde artists like Vasily Kandinsky, Niko Pirosmanashvili (Pirosmani), David Kakabadze, Lado Gudiashvili, Kazimir Malevich, Robert Falk, Osvaldo Lichin and many others. Some of them are being exhibited in public for the first time.

A number of museums all around Georgia also supported International Museum Day, offering free entrance to visitors. The David Baazov Georgian Jew Relations History Museum, Giorgi Leonidze State Museum of Georgian Literature, Georgian State Museum of Theater, Music, Cinema and Choreography (Art Palace), State Silk Museum and many others held discussions, tours, new exhibitions, city games and sales.

A similar program but more extended will be presented at the first Georgian ‘Night of the Museums’ this Saturday. The museums in Tbilisi and regions will be opened from 9 pm to 1 am free of charge, entertaining visitors with a variety of activities and educational programs.

Museum Week has been held in Georgia since 2009. International Museum Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1977 and last year more than 35,000 museums in 145 countries took part.

Eka Karsaulidze

19 May 2016 20:47