Georgian Museum of Fine arts is located on Rustaveli avenue just opposite to Tbilisi parliament building. The museum has been opened for public just recently at the end of 2018. It is interesting to note that currently, it is the only building in Georgia built purposely to house art exhibitions.
The museum houses over 3500 artworks, created by over 80 artists during the last 70 years. The museum exhibits private art collection of the family of Dr. George (Gia) Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardadze, founders of Magticom, the largest telecommunications company in Georgia.
There is an entrance fee of GEL 15 (2019), we paid a half-day long visit here in early November 2019. There is a cafe inside the building and an elevator. In total there are 5 floors of exhibition halls.
The exhibition hall at Georgian museum
According to Wikipedia: Dr. George (Gia) Jokhtaberidze and Manana Shevardnadze started collecting art in 1990s. After successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Dr. Jokhtaberidze started buying art for personal interests. During one of the shopping visits, the gallery was about to ship art to a foreign country for very low prices. Soon Dr. Jokhtaberidze came to realize that if art was scattered around the world without proper collection, documentation and exhibition, art would be lost forever.
Probably this was my greatest surprise learning that museum is private and not run by some state agency or something.
Since most of the art was created during the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain, the art was not yet well-known. Thus, the mission was born: to collect, restore and preserve Georgian art. In the beginning, the mission did not include the idea to build a completely new museum building, the idea was to collect and donate all the art to state museums. However, due to the collapse of the USSR and subsequent economic and civil turmoils, the state museums were left in dire situation and would not be able to accept all the art
After collecting art for over 23 years and succeeding in leading the largest telecommunication company in Georgia, Dr. George Jokhtaberidze saw an opportunity to buy real estate right in front of the building of Parliament of Georgia. An opportunity was quickly turned into a plan to build a complex of buildings that would become the Georgian Museum of Fine Arts and the Art House.