Set on Tbilisi’s main street, Rustaveli Avenue, the museum stands in front of the Georgian parliament. An Artists’ House originally stood here, and after it was destroyed during the civil war, it was rebuilt in 2010s and finally reopened in 2018 so that a new generation of artists would have a place to hone their craft.
Today, the museum is home to as many as 3,500 works from up to eighty artists. It is the personal collection of the family of the museum’s founders, Gia Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardnadze. The exhibition covers the period from 1945 to the present day, with periods such as social realism, perestroika, the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War, the Georgian Civil War, and Georgian Independence depicted across thirty-one rooms and three stairwells.
The museum itself is a work of art. The sculpture that adorns the outer facade was inspired by the eagles found in the caves of Vani, which are from the 9th to 1st centuries BCE.
Georgia’s most modern art museum, the Museum of Fine Arts also boasts a 6,000 square metre warehouse, a conference hall for up to 120 people, restaurants, cafes, swimming pools, a sauna, a fitness centre, a number of boutiques, and parking for 155 vehicles.
A purpose-built paradise for artists and art lovers alike, it is a fascinating window into Georgia’s heart and soul.