State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art, Baku
Carpet weaving in Azerbaijan appeared a long time ago. It is the oldest type of applied arts of this land; the fact has been proved by numerous archaeological findings across the country.
It was a genius carpet weaving master, National Artist of Azerbaijan SSR Lyatif Kerimov who gave the first thought on preservation and reproduction of this cultural legacy. Thanks to his efforts, they built the first museum specialized on the study of the ancient craft. Work on material collection began in 1967 and only in 1972 the first visitors could see its rare exhibits. The venue for exposition was excellent; ancient carpets perfectly matched the interior of the old building of the Juma Mosque in the heart of the Icheri-Sheher fortress.
Since its foundation, the unique exposition was completed not only with carpets, but also other national Azerbaijan art items. Today it has more than 14000 exhibits: rare carpets, exquisite jewelry pieces, clothing, embroidery, modern delicate workmanship of glass, wood and felt. The museum is a real fount of the traditional culture.
The Azerbaijan Carpet Museum presents different schools and techniques of masters from around the entire republic covering various historical stages of the development of this art. Among the exhibits are part of Tabriz rug “Ovchulug” and Karabakh rug “Dragon carpet”, both weaved in the 17th century, as well as carpet “Khila Afshan” of the 18th century from the village of Khila. The personnel of the museum is put efforts to preserve and popularize this cultural heritage. There are different round-table discussions, exhibitions and symposiums organized, often under the aegis of UNESCO.
In August 2014, the relics got a new luxurious house – a palace in the form of a folded carpet. The authors of the project are well-known Austrian architects Franz Janz and Walter Mari.
The exposition of the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum has been exhibited in more than 50 countries, almost in all continents of the world. Today the museum is a large scientific center that attracts researchers and connoisseurs of applied arts from around the globe.