Date: 26 July – 4 August 2024
Place: Georgia, Mestia
Application Deadline: 15 March 2024
Rediscovering the Cultural Heritage of Upper Svaneti, Georgia is a ten-day International Cultural Workshop organized by Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University Institute of Art History and Theory with the support of the United States Embassy in Georgia. The Workshop welcomes young researchers of any nationality in the History of Art (with preference given to Byzantine or Medieval) at the Master’s and Doctoral levels.
The aim of the Workshop is to explore the cultural heritage of Svaneti, one of the most outstanding regions of Georgia. Not only does Svaneti boast breathtaking, majestic landscapes, but also an extraordinary cultural heritage from the medieval past. These include domestic architecture, towers and churches, a great multitude of frescoes, painted and revetted icons, pre-altar crosses and illuminated manuscripts, preserved in village churches and in two very fine local museums. In sum, it is a unique opportunity to study art and architecture scarcely know to researchers in the West, and to witness the ongoing coexistence of Christian and pre-Christian folk traditions. The remoteness of this region makes it a real treasury of medieval art, with works of medieval art and architecture that survive only in this region.
The Workshop will be include field research, discussion, and presentations. Together, participants will visit and examine monuments of religious and secular architecture, wall and panel painting, metalwork, and manuscript illumination.
The language of the program is English.
Date: 26 July – 4 August 2024
Destination: Mestia, Svaneti
Deadline for applications: 15 March 2024
This project takes place in Upper Svaneti, the spectacular mountainous region of Western Georgia,
which not only has an abundance and variety of cultural heritage, but also a unique way of life.
Even today, the local population preserves various pre-Christian beliefs and rituals. In Upper
Svaneti, medieval churches and residences with defense towers have been preserved in their
original forms. Almost all these churches are decorated with paintings, and original treasuries are
kept in most of them: medieval painted and revetted icons, crosses, ecclesiastic vessels created in
local workshops or many other regions of the Christian East and the West. Exposure to this
extraordinary material will provide all students of medieval art with an entirely new perspective on
The ten-day workshop will enable ten PhD and MA students to visit significant monuments of
cultural heritage in Upper Svaneti, to take part in discussions on-site, and to engage in various field
The workshop will be held in English.
The International Cultural Workshop is organized by the Institute of Art History and Theory at
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, in cooperation with the College of Arts & Sciences at
Syracuse University and the Art History Department at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
The project partner is the Svaneti Museum of History and-Ethnography.
The International Cultural Workshop (RCHUS) is funded under the US Embassy Georgia Cultural
Small Grants Program.
22 January to 15 March 2024 (00:00/Georgian Time Zone: UTC + 4)
The selection results will be announced on 8 April.
Applicants of any nationality must currently be enrolled in an MA or PhD program in Medieval or
Byzantine art history or a related field.
Documents to be submitted:
– Application form with other three documents:
– Curriculum vitae (with list of publications/presentations, maximum 3 pages)
– Cover letter outlining interest in the program (maximum 300 words)
– Recommendation letter
The application must be in English.
See here for Application form: https://forms.gle/GLAacswWY5VBHDrk7
Fees and Funding
The International Cultural Workshop (RCHUS) is free of charge: will cover travel from Tbilisi to
Mestia, field trips, hotel accommodation and meals in Upper Svaneti.
The workshop participants must cover their own international flights to and from Georgia, and
hotel accommodation in Tbilisi. However, there are limited funds for participating students in the
project budget for partial covering the international transportation and accommodation in Tbilisi.
Please clarify your need for funding on your Application form.
For further information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org