Armenia & Georgia with Art Historian Dr. Keelan Overton ~ Monasteries, Manuscripts, Mountains, and Modernism

Nestled between the Black and Caspian Seas at a strategic meeting point between Russia, Turkey, and Iran, Armenia and Georgia are the most historically complex and beautiful countries of the Caucuses. Inclined toward both Europe and the Islamic world, Armenia and Georgia afford visitors an incredibly rich and layered history, as well as a constant study of contrasts. On this tour, you will learn about the dawn of Christianity alongside Islam and Soviet-period atheism, get lost in medieval labyrinths while tasting world-famous wines in progressive bars, and experience a range of incredible landscapes from snow-capped mountains to barren golden cliffs subtly masking stone monasteries. Covering monasteries, mountains, manuscripts, modernism, and many things in between, this itinerary offers an incredible range of art and architectural history alongside delicious cuisine, innovative luxury hotels, and stunning hospitality from your Armenian and Georgian hosts. This SBMA-designed tour offers behind-the-scenes access to museum collections and architectural sites, as well as dialogues with local NGOs and cultural heritage advocates. It is led by Dr. Keelan Overton, a historian of art and architecture, who researched much of this itinerary during the summer of 2019 when she spent a month in Armenia and Georgia.

The itinerary will include five nights in Yerevan, Armenia; two nights in Gyumri, Armenia; one night in Dzoraget in Northern Armenia; three nights in the Old City of Tbilisi, Georgia; two nights in Kazbegi in the Greater Caucuses Mountains of Georgia; and two nights in the New City of Tbilisi, Georgia. 

To reserve space with an $1,000 per person deposit, please fill out the reservation form at the end of the brochure and email, fax, or mail it, or call 805-884-6436 to reserve by phone. Please contact with any questions. 



Tour Guide

Dr. Keelan Overton

Keelan Overton (PhD, UCLA, 2011) is a historian of Islamic art and architecture specializing in the eastern Islamic world. Her recent book is the edited volume Iran and the Deccan: Persianate Art, Culture, and Talent in Circulation, 1400-1700 (Indiana University Press, June 2020). Her current book is a global history of Persian tilework, and this project has been awarded a Getty Scholar grant. For the last six years, Keelan has been as an Independent Scholar based in Santa Barbara, where she divides her time between research, writing, teaching, and travel. This year, she will be teaching at Pomona College and in residence at the Getty working on her book. Dr. Overton previously served as the Curator of Islamic Art at the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art (Shangri La) in Honolulu (2011-12) and as an Associate Curator in the Art of the Middle East department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2014-15). 

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