Little Georgia in Tbilisi - Open Air Museum presents annual Art Gen festival
19 July, 2017
Little Georgia in Tbilisi - Open Air Museum presents annual Art Gen festival
Would like to explore little Georgia and its regions in one space? Then you should definitely visit Open Air Museum of Ethnography in Tbilisi, Georgia. This little model of Georgia brings together various regions of Georgia with their architecture and culture at one venue. Summer is one of the best times to explore the open air museum since apart from beautiful nature, if
offers various music and cultural festivals known under the name of Art Gene.
Photo Courtesy National Museum of Georgia

The Open Air Museum was founded on April 27, 1966 by the famous Georgian ethnographer Giorgi Chitaia.

It is located in Tbilisi's Vake district, 25, M. Berdzenishvili Str. (Turtle Lake road). It occupies 52 hectares of land and houses more than eight thousand artifacts brought from all over Georgia.

The Open Air Museum encompasses 14 ethnographic zones: Kartli, Samegrelo, Adjara, Abkhazia, Svaneti, Khevsureti, Kakheti, Meskheti, Javakheti, Guria, Imereti, Racha, Lechkhumi and Ossetia.
Photo Courtesy National Museum of Georgia

Each exhibit presents a certain historic-ethnographic area of Georgia. Together with architectural monuments, the museum presents ethnographic materials - different kinds of tools, textiles, and ceramics. The museum also includes the 5th-6th century basilica of Sioni, as well as a rich collection of grave stones in relief.

Visitors can explore the area by themselves, or enjoy guided tours around the museum. The museum provides good environment for visitors to experience Georgian folk exhibitions and festivals throughout the year. Additionally, the venue offers a Georgian restaurant where you can enjoy delicious national dishes and the breathtaking view of Tbilisi.
Photo Courtesy National Museum of Georgia

The museum’s working hours are: Tuesday–Sunday 10 am - 6 pm. It’s closed on Monday, and official holidays.

Entrance fees are very low, comparing to pleasure and unforgettable experience the one will get by visiting this wonderful place. It’s 3 Gel for adults, 1 Gel for students, 0.50 Gel for school children and it’s free for children under 6.
As for guided tours, school children groups cost 10 Gel, Georgian language tour-25 Gel, Foreign Languages (reviewing tour, approximately 1 hour) – 45 Gel, Foreign Languages (extensive tour, 1,5-2 hours) – 60 Gel. The museum offers exclusive tour as well, which costs 200 Gel (booking in advance).
Guide service is delivered in Georgian, English, German, and Russian languages.
After visiting museum, one can go up to Turtle Lake, cool off himself and enjoy fresh air and beautiful view of the lake.
Photo Courtesy National Museum of Georgia

Art Gene Festival

As mentioned above, the museum is also famous for its Georgian festival Art Gene that takes place annually on museum’s territory. Art Gene Festival is an initiative of the Georgian NGO "Union of Art Gene", founded by the group of friends who are concerned with the problems associated with the traditional and folk culture. The festival is aimed at preserving national and folk culture as well as supporting the modern one.
Photo Courtesy Art Gene

The festival features modern and traditional folk music, exhibitions and sales of folk handicrafts, traditional cuisine and folk games to promote Georgian culture in the capital and regions. To attract young generations to the traditional and folk music, in parallel Art Gene organizes the jamming sessions with folk and modern music and dance within the framework of the festival. These types of combination become one of the trademarks of the festival.
Photo Courtesy Art Gene

Here we offer you the line-up of Art Gen 2017. It is one of the most famous and popular festivals in the country, which is attended by an average of 30-40 thousand people annually. It is a perfect opportunity to cool off on hot summer days and simultaneously get acquainted with Georgian culture, music and cuisine. So if you have a chance to attend it, do not miss it out!
Photo Courtesy Art Gene

Art Gene 2017
Tbilisi Open Air Museum of Ethnography
17 - 23 July
Tickets –
Free entry.

17 July
12: 00-18: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-21: 30 Folklore Region: Kakheti, Lechkhumi
22: 00 Final concert: Sophie Willie

18 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Shida Kartli
22:00 Final concert: “Asea sul”

19 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Imereti, Mtskheta-Tianeti
22:00 Final concert: Robbie Kukhianidze – Outsider

20 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Kvemo Kartli, Svaneti
22:00 Final concert: Region

21 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Samegrelo, Tusheti, Abkhazia
22:00 Final concert: Frani

22 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Guria, Adjara
22:00 Final concert: Nino Katamadze-Insight

23 July
12: 00-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
20: 00-22: 00 Folklore Region: Racha Samtskhe Javakheti
22:00 Final concert: Niaz Diasamidze - 33a

24 July
12: 0-19: 00 Exhibitions of Folk Art Felt and Modern Art
19: 00-22: 00 Folklore-Lela Tataraidze
22:00 Final concert: Sukhishvilebi
Photo Courtesy Art gene

Related stories:

“Georgia As I Saw It” – Rare ethnographic sketches by 20th century Georgian artist

Sukhishvili ensemble performs under the rain at Art Gene festival

Traditional Homes of Georgia: The Reason to Be Proud

Top 10 Museums to visit in Georgia

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