Dr. Nikoloz Vacheishvili Minister of Culture, Monuments Protection
and Sports of Georgia
I am delighted to have the opportunity to announce the symposium “Georgian Arts in the context of European and Asian Cultures”, that is the reminiscence of Georgian art historian studies, that have been left beyond due to the historical circumstances.
The written documents on Georgian arts, as a part of the scientific investigations help to fulfill the gaps of the development of the entire world art history. The presentation of the traditional fields of art under the umbrella of one symposium will allow us to experience the evolution of timelines of the Georgian artistic trends, to look into each field separately and to find out the artistic characteristics of each of the field.
The goal of symposium is to introduce Georgian and international specialists and provide an unprecedented forum for scientific exchange of the knowledge gathered during the yesteryears.
Maka Dvalishvili Project Leader Georgian Arts and Culture Center President
I would like to wish you all a warm welcome to Georgia for the International Symposium of Georgian
Arts, the Symposium named after noted Georgian scholar and art historian, Vakhtang Beridze.
This year’s Symposium is the first international scholars meeting on Georgian Art to take place in
Georgia after nearly a 20 year hiatus, when Vakhtang Beridze, director of Institute of Georgian Art History
named after Giorgi Chubinashvili, organized the last of six Georgian Arts symposium in 1989. The initial
rebirth of these scholarly discussions on Georgian Art happened in 2007 at Columbia University of New
York City with the initiation and generous support of the Georgian Studies Center at Harriman Institute
of Columbia University, in collaboration with Tbilisi State Academy of Art, the Georgian Arts and Culture
Center, and the Fulbright Scholar Program. Georgian and American scholars gathered on Columbia’s
campus to present their work to leading members of their respective fields as well as to discuss the future
of Georgian cultural studies scholarship. The forthcoming symposium, “Georgian Arts in the Context of
European and Asian Cultures,” builds on and expands the work started in the 2007 Symposium.
With more than 115 leading scholars from the Georgia, Europe, Asia, and the United States presenting
their papers and posters to highlight and summarize discoveries and nvestigations in the field from the past
20 years, to define trends of further art historical study, and to discuss the mechanisms available to raise
the level of international scholarship of Georgian Cultural Studies, the Symposium likely will define the
best methods of improving international collaboration and networking opportunities between art historians
specializing in the South Caucasus area. Additionally, it will pay particular attention to the ever-evolving
contextualization of Georgian art in relation to its European and Asian counterparts, as well as to Georgia’s
contribution to past and present cultural world heritage.
By taking into the consideration political and social changes in the region, the Symposium will focus
on a combination of academic studies and the practice and problems of cultural heritage preservation in
Georgia thereby fostering much-needed discussions on the practicality of cultural heritage for economic
development via cultural tourism, cultural projects for development, etc. Onsite visits in Tbilisi, Western
and Eastern Georgia will also highlight some of the important issues concerning cultural tourism and preservation.
I have been especially pleased to note how many scholars expressed interest in presenting their works—
this year’s Symposium will feature a total number of 5 sections, with 91 paper and 28 poster presentations—
which speaks to the growing international importance of the subject of Georgian cultural studies. I
would like to thank our many esteemed colleagues who have traveled from all over the world to join our
As my final note, I must take this opportunity to thank all the members of the Organizational Committee
and the Symposium Project Team for their creativity and hard work in assembling the program; Georgian
authorities for their advisement; and local and international donor and sponsor organizations for their generous
support in making this year’s Symposium a success.