More than 85,000 visitors visit Niko Pirosmani’s exhibition

Georgia: Georgia’s Ministry of Culture and Sports received an official letter of gratitude from the Bayler Foundation, noting that more than 85,000 visitors from local and around the world visited the Louisiana Museum for 19 weeks. Most visitors learned about Georgian painters for the first time. 

Bayler Foundation, also, expressed gratitude for the good organization of exhibitions and is glad that many representatives of the Georgian Diaspora visited the exhibition. We’ve had positive reviews from many famous news outlets, including Financial Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Monde, and Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Maria Jaggi in her article “The hero of Georgia’s avant-garde” published in the Financial Times, notes that Firosmann has truly established a place in European modernism.

In Switzerland, at the Bayler Foundation, the exhibition of Nico Firosmann’s works was opened on September 17, 2023 and will continue until January 28, 2024 The exhibition was held in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of Georgia and the Baylor Foundation, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and “Infinite Art”.

It is important that this is the first and historical case when Pirosman’s work appeared on such a large scale in Europe. 48 works of Firosman were presented in Denmark and Switzerland, 47 of which belong to the New and Modern Georgian Art Foundation of the State Museum of Art named after Shalva Amiranashvili, and one painting was selected from Mirzaani’s Niko Firosmanashvili State Museum.

After almost a year, Niko Pirosman’s work up to 50 has been safely returned to Georgia and transferred to appropriate funds.

In order to properly get acquainted with Niko Pirosmani’s work for a foreign viewer, several complex preparation process was conducted with the participation of foreign and Georgian specialists.

In March 2023 Markus Gross, the head of the restoration department of the Beiler Foundation, together with Georgian restorers – Nana Managadze and Neli Sosanidze, checked in detail each painting of Pirosman preserved in Georgian museums, evaluated their current situation and prepared 48 paintings for transportation to Copenhagen. 

Prior to the opening of the exhibition, to introduce foreigners to the artist’s work, the Louisiana Museum has launched a special marketing campaign: using five works, a film about Pirosmann was created, a few weeks ago, advertising posters appeared on the streets of Copenhagen, publication prepared for 60,000 members of the Louisiana Museum Club and printed the catalog with proper circulation.

It should be noted that the works selected for exhibition were packaged in accordance with international museum standards for transportation, safely shipped to Copenhagen and lodged in the Louisiana Museum. The exhibits were safely brought from Georgia to Denmark by the transport company Kunsttrans. Participated in the process of transportation: Irakli Purshvanidze, Representative of Bayler Foundation, Deputy Head of General Inspection Department of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth Kakhaber Chumbadze, Senior Restaurateur of the State Museum of Art of Georgia Nana Managadze and Shalva Amiranashvili of Georgian Painting and Graph of the State Museum Of Art Khatuna Kikvadze, curator of Iki foundations.

It means that such cooperation aims not only to showcase the work of a great Georgian artist in Europe, but also to study and preventive conservation of his works, development of Georgian museum activity, training of employees and sharing the experience of foreign specialists with them. Upgrading the qualification of specialists for conservation-restoration is important for the proper protection of the works of Firosmani and other great Georgian painters in the funds of the National Museum.

A cooperation memorandum was signed between museums, which, besides organizational issues of Firosman’s exhibition, takes into account the needs of Georgian side. An interactive multilingual website dedicated to Pirosman and his work will be created on the initiative of the Bayler Foundation and will be distributed free of charge to Georgia.


Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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