Historic Building

Dating from the 1850s, the Tbilisi State Academy of Art building is one of the most outstanding heritage sites in Tbilisi.  Defined by an eclectic mix of European and oriental architectural and artistic styles, this landmark building is best known for the so-called
Mirror Halls, the sumptuous adornment of which, executed by Qajar artists invited from Iran, are reminiscent of the decoration of oriental palaces.

Before the Foundation

The foundation of the Academy was preceded by intensive activities in the field of arts. In 1874, the Artists’ Society founded the first elementary school of arts. Later, in 1901, a secondary school of painting and sculpture was opened, which functioned under the patronage of the Saint Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts. Before 1921 private arts schools functioned in Tbilisi and other towns of Georgia. In late 1921 the so-called ‘high arts workshops’ were established, and in the beginning of 1922, the People’s Studio was founded by the renowned Georgian artist Mose Toidze.
However the idea of establishing a higher educational institution was ripe among Georgian artistic circles, who saw it as the only way towards the improvement of the quality of arts education. Founded in 1916 by the celebrated Georgian artist Dimitri Shevardnadze, the Society of Georgian Artists made every endeavour to achieve the goal. Their efforts culminated with the foundation of the Academy in 1922 ...


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