Azerbaijan National Committee of International Council of Museums 

Beynəlxalq Muzeylər Şurasının   Azərbaycan Milli Komitəsi
   Art museums and Galleries  
State Museum of Azerbaijan Carpet and Applied Art                                      named after Latif Kerimov
  Address: 123a, Neftchilar ave., Baku, AZ1000
Telephone: (994 12) 493 66 85
Fax: (994 12) 493 05 01
  Hours of work: from 10°° am to 18°°pm, closed on Mondays
Belonging: Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Foundation: 1967
Branches: Shusha Branch of Azerbaijan Carpet Museum (18, Mehmandarov str.,

Brief description: The Museum is a unique institution that keeps one of the richest collections of Azerbaijan carpets in the world. Besides old carpets and works of applied art, the Museum also exhibits works by modern weavers and craftsmen. From its first days, the Museum has turned into a specialized institution of researching and popularizing the Azerbaijan carpet and local carpet weaving traditions.
During many centuries, carpet weaving has played the great role in Azerbaijan people's household, and carpets have become the symbol of the nation. Embodying local aesthetic, artistic and ethnic peculiarities, carpets are the self-identification of the people.
From archeological materials and written sources, it has been known that carpets were woven in Azerbaijan starting from the Bronze Age (late 2nd - early 1st Millennia B.C). Herodotus, Claudius Elian, Xenofont and other historians of the ancient world gave information on the development of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan.
Interesting information on Azerbaijan carpets and their decorative specifications can be found in various medieval sources written by Arabian authors, Azerbaijan poets, like Nizami and Hagani (12th century),etc.                                                                                In the 13th -14th centuries, many carpets and carpet items were exported to foreign countries from Azerbaijan. Drawing people's attention with their fine ornaments, delicate and slender patterns, these carpets were represented in canvas of famous European painters of the Renaissance, like “Maria with the Child” by Hans Memmling, “Saint Maria” by Van Eykin, “Ambassadors” by Hans Holbeyn, where we can see the “Shirvan”, “Zeyva” and “Kazakh” designs.
Azerbaijan carpets are demonstrated in many museums of the world: New-York Metropolitan Museum, London Victoria & Albert Museum, the Hermitage in Sankt-Peterburg, Louver in Paris, etc.
In the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum, classic pile carpets of the Guba, Baku,Shirvan, Ganja, Gazakh, Garabakh, and Tabriz zones of Azerbaijan are displayed.
The Guba carpets of the “Pirabadil”, “Gymyl”, “Syrt-chichi”, “Yerfi”, “Ughakh”, and “Heart-Pirabadil” designs are distinguished with characteristic patterns and bright colours.
The Shirvan carpets demonstrate the fascinating old patterns in the “Namazlig”, “Arjiman”, “Sor-sor”, “Maraza”, “Kabistan”, “Ovchulug”, “Jemjemli”, and “Israfil” designs.
The Garabakh carpets are represented with the fine the “Lampa”, “Bulud”,“Buynuz”, “Chalabi”, “Bakhmanli”, “Malibayli” etc designs. Bright colours and plant motives of the Garabakh carpets reflect the nature of Garabakh. Curvilinear outlines of the Garabakh motives are characteristic of this group.
The Baku carpets are presented with the 18th century “Khila-buta” and “Khila-afshan” carpets. Their colours are fresh up to nowadays due to natural dyes used in making these carpets, as well as in the “Novkhany”, “Fyndigan”, and “Surakhany” of the same group.         The Ganja and Gazakh groups are showed with the “Fakhraly”, “Borchaly”,“Shikhly”, “Gachagan”, “Gadim Ganja”, “Damirchiler” etc designs. These carpets are distinguished with the prevalent geometric style of patterns.
The Tabriz carpet group is presented by examples of the ”Lacha turundj”,“Afshan”, “Serabi” carpets that demonstrate high mastery and artistic imagination of weavers.
Apart from pile carpets, the exhibition shows various pile-less carpets and flatwoven household items that were used not only as utilitarian items, but also decoration, such as palas, jejim, kilim, shadda, zili, ladi, verni, and sumakh, as well as mafrash (bag for storage of bedding), khurjun (saddle-bag), heiba, chanta, chul, kharal (bags) etc. from the Baku,Shirvan, Gazakh, Guba, and Garabakh zones.
Visitors can also see a collection of Azerbaijan applied art, such as jewellery, adornments and cold steel; works of china, glass, paper, carved wood and stone; embroideries and traditional costumes; metal works. A large number of the items date back to ancient times, for example,bronze vessels, ceramics, and arms of the Bronze Age, as well as metal works of the 14th century and carpets of the 17th century.
In the Museum, Azerbaijan traditional costumes and decorative embroidery are also demonstrated, including examples of woman's, man's and child clothes.
Today, the Museum is one of the main research centres in the country. In1983-1988, the Museum held the 1st and 2nd International Symposiums on Oriental and Azerbaijan Carpets under auspicious of UNESCO. In 2002, by decision of the Azerbaijan government, the 3rd
International Symposium on Azerbaijan carpet and Applied Art was held.
The Museum's collection was exhibited in 30 countries, including Japan, Israel, UK, Cuba,Iran, Holland, Madagascar, Turkey etc.
For domestic and foreign private and juridical persons, the Museum
render expert and middleman services in purchasing carpets. It also provides an expert commission that estimates the artistic value of carpets and handicrafts, and issues a license for exporting these objects from the country.
In the Museum, visitors can also try on traditional costumes and immerse themselves in the rich culture of Azerbaijan. Simultaneously, there will also be an opportunity to have your photograph taken in the background of old carpets.
Moreover, the Museum takes orders to making any carpets and carpet souvenirs of various traditional designs, as well as arranges guiding excursions, folklore festivals, exhibitions, and ethnographic trips. Besides, it publishes booklets, catalogues and guides, as well as provides tourism, and transport services. In the framework of international museum tourism, the Museum organizes education and folklore programs, excursions and trips to traditional handicraft zones of the country. The Museum prepares training programs to collaborate with educational institutions in order to educate young people in traditional arts, including traditional designing, carpet making and embroidery.
After Shusha was occupied in 1992, the Shusha Branch of the Museum has continued its work at the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum in Baku.



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