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New Collections – Georgian National Museum, the Art Palace of Georgia, Georgian Literature Museum
25 February 08:00 - 12 March 17:00
In 2021–2022, the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Youth of Georgia was able to add new acquisitions to the Shalva Amiranashvili State Museum of Fine Art’s collection of modern and contemporary Georgian art. These are the works of 119 Georgian artists that the museum did not hold or represent sufficiently. The new collection demonstrates an impressive picture of Georgian artistic development in the 20th and 21st centuries.
In a new collection of graphics by 1950s and 1970s artists, acquired works were limited to artists whose creativity made a significant contribution to the development of Georgian graphic art. The collection also includes works acquired after the first group exhibition of non-conformist artists held at the Sighnaghi Museum. Additionally, large number of works by Valerian Sidamon-Eristavi were purchased. Numerous notable works by artists of the 1980s-1990s generation were also purchased, including works by Sergo Kobuladze, Aleksander Bazhbeuk-Melikov, Felix Varlamishvili, Kirill Zdanevich, Irina Shtenberg, Rusudan Gachechiladze, and Vajha Melikishvili. The new collection also includes artworks donated by the artists, whose exhibitions were held at the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery from October 20, 2021, to the present.
The recently acquired collection of the Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts is being gradually shown. The first three exhibitions were held at the National Gallery and Sighnaghi Museum in August–September 2022; one of them is still on display at the Sighnaghi Museum today.
This time, the Dimitri Shevardnadze National Gallery is presenting an expanded fourth exhibition of recently acquired collections. The current exhibition will feature works from the new collections of Georgian museums under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Youth of Georgia, including the Giorgi Leonidze State Museum of Georgian Literature and the Art Palace of Georgia.
In 2021, the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Youth of Georgia acquired the archive of Ilia Agladze, a well-known publicist, journalist, translator, member of the Council of Writers’ Union, and member of the Society for Spreading Literacy among Georgians, in order to enrich the collection of the Giorgi Leonidze State Museum of Georgian Literature. It includes 373 interesting manuscripts, documents, and photographs from Georgia’s independence period, specifically from the establishment of the Writers’ Union in 1917–1921: writers’ questionnaires, biographies, letters, statements, protocols of the Writers’ Union meetings, materials from the Georgian Writers’ Union’s first conference in 1917, manuscripts, and postcards.
In 2021, the Ministry donated twenty unpublished manuscripts by Galaktion Tabidze to the Museum of Georgian Literature, which included 32 poems, six diary entries, one personal letter, two translations, and ten sketches.
Around 50 exhibits purchased by the Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Youth of Georgia will be displayed at the exposition from the collection of the Palace of Arts. The picture of the Boy with Kabalakh and in Chokha by the French orientalist artist Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant (1845–1902). The exhibition will also feature 22 works by Irakli Mdivani (1907–1991), a remarkable Georgian artist whose works were returned to Georgia. In 1930, Irakli Mdivani graduated from the Tbilisi Academy of Arts (class of E. Lanceray). He had been performing in Georgian theaters since 1931. Since 1930, he had been the puppet theater’s main artist. Among his works are Nina Gernett’s Aladdin’s Magic Lamp, Vazha Pshavela’s The Story of the Roebuck, Leonid Brausevich’s Puss in Boots, and Alexei Tolstoy’s Adventures of Buratino. The new collection consists primarily of works created by the artist prior to the 1930s. The artist’s modernist aspirations are clearly visible in these works, which were ceased in Georgian painting following the well-known repressions of 1937.
The National Gallery exhibition include works by Valerian Sidamon Eristavi from the collection of Palace of Arts. The Ministry of Culture, Sport, and Youth donated 110 sketches and one painting by Valerian Sidamon-Eristavi, as well as Felix Varlamishvili’s painting Khvati (Sultriness) to the Palace of Art in 2022.
The exhibition will also showcase artifacts purchased for the Palace of Arts by the Ministry of Culture in 2021–2022, such as two autographed lists of Ilia Chavchavadze’s famous publicist letters.