Tbilisi Dolls and Toys Museum was established in 1937. The idea belongs to children’s writer and teacher Tinatin Tumanishvili (1892-1966). She initiated and in 1937 Georgian government established special decree, according it in nursery school which located in Atarbegov str. the Children’s Toy Museum was opened. Tinatin Tumanishvili’s collection of toys and dolls, family items and books, which she granted to the state, started the exhibition. Tina Tumanishvili discovered and brought together under a single idea young, talented artists and engineers. That time no Georgian doll physically existed. So the doll of national character was created, which is still one of the most important and hot theme museum exhibits.
In 1958 the Museum moved to the Pioneers Palace, and then its location was in Shavteli Str. At least it was housed in 103-107 Aghmashenebeli Ave.
The Museum History connected to Tina Tumanishvili (1892-1966) creative lives. A honored teacher, children’s writer and public figure, before the Museum was founded she worked as a secretary at the Children’s Toy Committee of People’s Commissariat of Education, participated in the preschool education and exhibitions dedicated to the issues of the toy. She is the author and co-author of more than twenty children’s book, both in Georgian and Russian languages.
In this period there was no Georgian doll. Create an artistic, original national character of doll and other toys were necessary. So she organized expeditions around Georgia, ordered to an artist-ethnographer to create Georgian dolls named “Manana”, “Eka”, and “Petka”. An artist Belyaeva created “Luarsab and Darejan”, characters of the story “Man is a Human?!” by Ilia Chavchavadze further “Lamaziseuli and Elizabeth” also the characters of same story.
Tinatin Tumanishvili asked a master and constructor Raphael Begtabegishvili to fulfill her main idea and create mechanical toys. For years the master has created unique mechanical and musical toys: “Marine”, “Women group with Chonguri“ (Chonguri– a folk musical instrument), “Doll play the piano”, “Georgian dancer”. In subsequent years, exposition of the Museum enriched another musical toy “Pair of Dancers”, the author is a constructor Igor Frangulov.
Brailashvili, N. Belyaeva, N. Gilchevskaia, I. Frangulov, R. Begtabegishvili, G. Alexandrov, N. Antadze, D. Chubabria, V. Mirianashvili were artists, whose merger of talent and imagination created puppet art superlative examples, the most beautiful treasure of the museum.
Toys tell viewers about Georgian cultural achievements, including the daily life and customs practices, past and present. Visitors also can see the dolls and the toys from other countries. Dolls Museum is recognized as the world’s one of the unique museums by its content and form. This is proved by the documents and letters published in the press that are kept in the museum.