It is believed that the word “museum” comes from the Old Greek Μουσεῖον (Mouseion), which denotes a place or temple dedicated to the Muses-the patron divinities of the arts in Greek Mythology and hence a building set apart for study and the arts.

Silk Museum
present day

Established in 1887,Silk Museum of Georgia in one of the first museums in the Caucasus region. Present-day building was an important part of the Sericulture station-the main scientific and educational centre in the Caucasus which now ,converted into a museum, houses Herbariums of different mulberry species, healthy and sick mulberry wood cuts, objects depicting the mulberry biology (in dry and wet objects), different implements for mulberry cultivation (knives, axes, tools), samples of sliced leaves, unique cocoon collection, rich and interesting collection of butterflies created at the edge of the XIX-XX centuries as well as the collection of dyes from 16 different countries.

The main building of the Caucasian Silk Station, as well as the entire complex, was designed by the architect of Polish origin, Alexander Szymkiewicz, who then worked in Tbilisi.
Standing on a tall stone base, the building is distinguished by plain red brick façades, a large portico attached to the middle projection and a mansard roof covering the central part.

Stylistically, the building represents a fusion of traditions, with its façade and elevations displaying features typical of the so-called Russian style, Classicism, and Gothic and Islamic arts.
Of particular note is the interior adornment which, apart from architectural decoration, includes designed elements, such as a frieze, a cornice, a pilaster and a capital, all of which display silk related features including a mulberry leave, a silkworm, a silkworm cocoon and a pupa.
Remarkable is the furniture made to the designs of Alexander Szymkiewicz, which survives in an authentic shape in the exhibition hall and in the library of the museum.

Visiting Tbilisi? Explore Silk Museum of Georgia with us

 

Silk Museum
historic look
artifact from the museum

 

History of Georgian chant takes roots from the introduction of Christianity in Georgia in 326.Since then it has become an integral part of Georgian culture and spirituality and up to now plays a crucial role not only in ecclesiastic life but resembles a special national pride and treasure.

Georgian musical art-polyphony developed in different churches and  monasteries in and outside Georgia (Palestine, Mount Sinai, Mount Athos, Jerusalem). Initially it was presented by the hymns translated from Greek. Translated hymnographic material was collected in ancient Georgian monuments – lectionariums. Several ancient editions of lectionariums (from Kala, Latali, Paris and Mount Sinai), reflect Liturgical practice in Jerusalem from the late 5th century until 10th centuries. In general,lectionarium shows three basic types of chant performance: responsorial, antiphonal and single-choir.

First independent hymnographic collection – iadgari (lit. memorable) was created on the basis of lectionariums and it united the chants to be performed throughout a year. Several old copies of iadgari, created before the 10th century, have also survived. They contain unique data about early stages in the development of Byzantine and Georgian hymnographies.

From the 10th century Georgian centers of hymnography suppressed by the Arabs were moved from the Holy Land to other Monastic Centers. One of the most important cultural centers of Georgian Christian literature and music emerged in the monastic state of Athos established by two Georgian  fathers Ekvtime and Giorgi Mtatsmindeli

Further development of Georgian Hymnography is related to the Monastic schools of Tao-Clarjeti (South Georgia, present-day Turkey) lead by Reverent Grigol Khandzteli – great ecclesiastical figure of the 9th century who composed a complete collection of chants – satselitsdo iadgari, which provided a basis for further development of original hymnography.

In the 11th century  one of the most  important literary-philosophical schools was founded at the Bachkovo Monastery (archaically the Petritsoni Monastery), one of the prominent representatives of this school Ioane (John) Petritsi provided the information about the polyphonic nature of Georgian music and harmony created by the combination of three voices.

In 13th-16th centuries due to severe social and political unrest,foreign invasions and internal tension Georgian art of chant started to decline until in the 17th century when David Gareji monastic complex became one of the most important centers of Georgian spiritual culture. Established in a semi-desert by Assyrian monks in the 6th century,David Gareji united some 22 cave-cut monasteries.

At the end of the 18th century King Erekle II took the initiative to preserve traditions of Chant Schools in Georgia but Abolition of the autocephalous status of the Georgian Church (1811) by Czarist Russia and introduction of the Divine liturgy in Russian language (with Russian chanting),became a great threat to the existence of centuries-old Georgian chant.

In early 20th century Georgian chant and spirituality in general faced another danger – Soviet totalitarian regime when there was practically no divine liturgy at the churches.

Revival of Georgian canonical chanting started in the 1980s, when the members of Anchiskhati church(Tbilisi) choir started chanting ancient tunes from the handwritten scores of Georgian chants preserved at the archives of National Centre for Manuscripts. Currently, according to the order of the Holy Synod of Georgia Divine Liturgy at Georgian churches is carried out as accompanied only with ancient Georgian canonical chants.

Geplaatst door Nick Mazanishvili op Zondag 24 februari 2019