Tbilisi Doll and Children’s Art Museum

Tbilisi Doll Museum

I visited the Tbilisi Doll Museum partly for the kitsch and partly because I’d passed it so many times when I was here in winter it’s colorful balconies were deeply ingrained in my memory.

Based on my visit to the natural history museum in Borjormi, I was expecting a dark, damp, creepy space overcrowded with Chucky-like dolls, white eyes rolling and bright, pink cheeks curved in evil grins. But it’s nothing like that. It’s well done and the staff are friendly.

Modern puppet.

Modern puppet.

The first level houses the older collection of antique puppets and dolls from around the world, several of them reminding me of dolls my grandmother used to bring us back from her travels—long since tossed in the trash due to my Mom’s overzealous decluttering. (My sister and I are still working on forgiveness).

There are also a number of mechanical-musical dolls that dance, drink water, and play instruments. Although none of them crept me out enough to satisfy my inner Tim Burton, I could at least see the late night, Halloween party potential.

Georgian folk doll collected in 1970s.

The third floor was my favorite, with a modern exhibit of dolls and puppets, most of them for sale. (I wanted to go on a spending spree for my nephew and myself but controlled myself due to my current lack of qualifying income). Like several Georgian museums I’ve been to in the regions, the rooms on the 3rd floor were closed and we had to ask staff to open them. The second room housed a collection of Georgian folk dolls from the 1960s and 70s with a table in the middle of the room for doll-making parties.

The second floor is the Children’s Art Museum, which for the next month has an exhibit of Georgian student paintings and sculptures on environmental issues. I’ve seen and judged A LOT of student environmental poster contests over the years and the skill level on these was impressive. I didn’t take any photos though, sorry. On the same floor, there’s also an exhibit of rotating children’s artwork created in the museum’s own art studios. Also very nice.

If you’re in Tbilisi, it’s worth a visit: 17a Shavteli Street, Tbilisi Georgia. 995 532 996511

Airplane puppet in the modern collection on the 3rd floor.

Modern puppet in 3rd floor collection.

Modern folk dolls.

7 Comments on “Tbilisi Doll and Children’s Art Museum

  1. How pretty and elegant are these dolls! Im surprised at how “tribal” they look. It gives insight into the history of Georgia. Fascinating Edith! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I am not a neurotic declutterer. In Florida the Silver Fish and Palmetto bugs control the decision on how long to store old dolls in the garage 🙂 — -and I always give you a five year warning before I throw things out.
    Love you and the dolls are beautiful. Wish I was with you to explore!!

      • I got it was you, Mom. I think you did give us ten-years post college to come get our stuff, and you haven’t tossed out my cats yet…so, yes, more than generous. Retire and meet me in Athens in September. Love.

  3. Buy what you want for Landon. I will put money in your account (or make Mom do it)! : )

  4. I have a folk doll collection that I am looking for a home for. They are in mothballs in air conditioning in fort Myers. I have about 20 from around the world……. Anyway how does it fell to be back?

    • Okay, soon as I have a home we’ll talk. It’s nice to be back, although too hot (no air con at work so hard to think for very long). For the project though, I’m very glad I came back. It’s turned out to be rather strategic timing.

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