About Project


Jewish Cultural Heritage in the collections of the Georgian National Museum 

History of the Jewish people in Georgia counts millenniums. According to "Kartlis Tskhovreba", the first migration of Jews and their establishment in Mtskheta Dates yet from VI century BC. Its noteworthy that flew of Jewish settlement over the various parts of Georgia did terminate through later centuries as well. Despite their assimilation, Georgian Jews have maintained their religion, traditions and original culture for centuries.

The Georgian-Jewish Historical-Ethnographic Museum was functioning in Tbilisi from 1933 to 1951. The collection depicting Jewish culture Georgia was assembled through regional scientific-ethnographic expeditions. The biggest part of the collection is now preserved at GNM S. Janashia Museum of Georgia and GNM I. Grishashvili Tbilisi History Museum. The collection accommodates ethnographic, religious or ritual objects, manuscripts, clothes, fabrics, accessories, as well as paintings and graphic works that were created specially for the museum in the 1930s.

The life of Georgian Jews is thoroughly illustrated in works of Shalom Koboshvili (1876-1941) and David Gvelesiani (1890-1949). Part of the Jewish collections of the Georgian National Museum is presented at the exposition of David Baazov Museum of History of the Jews and Georgian-Jewish Relations.

The Georgian National Museum delivers special attention to the study, restoration, conservation and promotion of Jewish collections. Through the projects implemented over the last decade, it became possible to regulate the collections, prepare exhibitions and publications. Exhibitions of Jewish collections were arranged in various exposition spaces of Georgian National Museum. Also, four catalogs were published, which are presented as a result of scientific research, new attributions and dating of the exhibits. Each project is accompanied by an educational program. The author of the projects, executive and exhibition curator is head of the Preparatory Exhibition Group of the Georgian National Museum, Jewish Cultural Heritage Researcher, Doctor of Art Studies, Prof. Lela Tsitsuashvili.

In 2014-2015, Georgian National Museum, with the support of international projects and grants, implemented a scientific-research project: Jewish Cultural Heritage in Georgian National Museum Collections" which included various activities: scientific research, attribution and dating. Also, in the frames of the project, restoration and conservation of the exhibits was completed and the database was prepared.

In 2016-2017, within the framework of international grant, the second project "Georgian National Museum Jewish Collections Webpage and Virtual Exposition Design" was implemented. As a result, a website - "Jewish Cultural Heritage in Georgian National Museum Collections" was created. The author and head of both projects is Lela Tsitsuashvili.

In 2016 the Georgian National Museum has been elected as a member of the Association of European Jewish Museums.

The Jewish Cultural Heritage website is linked to the National Museum on the official website of the Association, as well as the European Jewish Heritage Platform. The project is implemented in partnership with Google Cultural Institute and Europeana Judaica.

Project author: Ph.D in Art History Prof. Lela Tsitsuashvili, the curator and reasercher of Jewish Culture; head of temporary exhibition group at GNM, Shalva Amiranashvili Museum of Fine Arts.