By Laman Ismayilova
The Carpet Museum continues to successfully promote Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art through multiple international projects and exhibitions.
The museum participated at Selvedge World Fair 2021, Divi Juliji International Art Festival, and signed an agreement with the State Hermitage Museum, one of the largest artistic and cultural and historical museums in Russia.
Moreover, the Carpet Museum in Shusha is expected to resume its activity after being liberated from a three-decade occupation.
In her interview with Azernews, the museum's director, ICOM Azerbaijan National Committee President Shirin Malikova spoke about the Carpet Museum's activities and its future projects.
Shusha Carpet Museum
Karabakh carpets are characterized by bright colors and vegetative motives. In the 18th century, the Karabakh carpet-weaving school was assembled in Shusha. This carpet school is famous for its pileless carpets, including shadda, zili, verni, kilim and palas products.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art, Shirin Malikova touched upon the Carpet Museum in Shusha.
"In 1987, the Carpet Museum opened in Shusha. The museum displayed carpets produced in Karabakh, including not only pile and pileless carpets but also jewelry, embroidery, traditional costumes. In 1992, the museum's exhibits had to be urgently transported from the city due to Armenia's invasion of the Karabakh region. Around 183 of 246 exhibits were saved. And all these decades, while Karabakh was occupied by the Armenians, the Carpet Museum's Shusha branch was temporarily based in the museum's main building in Baku. These exhibits were included in the museum's main exposition," said Malikova.
"Now Shusha, which is rapidly rising from the ruins like a phoenix from the ashes. Karabakh's decorative and applied arts have been demonstrated at the exhibition, a first sign proving that the art of Karabakh is returning to its native land. The exhibition also displayed art pieces stored at the Shusha branch. The restoration of the city is proceeding at a tremendous pace and I believe that the Shusha Carpet Museum will finally re-open in its homeland," she added.
Selvedge World Fair 2021
Shirin Malikova was invited to the Selvedge World Fair 2021 as a member of the selection committee. More than 150 artists from 75 countries took part in the international fair.
The Carpet Museum director hosted the session held as part of the "Create Day". She provided insight into Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art and highlighted the Carpet Museum's innovative projects.
The session brought together artists from New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Egypt, Austria, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Canada.
The Carpet Museum also pleased art lovers with fascinating virtual tours through its extensive collections.
The session was followed by Eldar Mikayilzade, known for his outstanding works in the carpet weaving art.
Divi Juliji International Art Festival
The 4th Divi Juliji International Art Festival took place in Latvia on July 30-31.
The festival was dedicated to the memory of two famous artists born in this city - Julius Straume and Julius Madernieks.
The Carpet Museum director, Shirin Malikova, addressed the 4th International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference.
"I have taken part in the 4th International Scientific and Practical Internet Conference held as part of the festival. During the conference, I delivered a lecture on Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art which also provided insight into Julius Straume's activity who led the Caucasian Handicraft Committee. I also touched upon the museum's future projects and publications," said Malikova.
Carpet Art. Evolution of Meanings
The Kazan Kremlin Historic-Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve displayed majestic Azerbaijani carpets in July.
The large-scale exposition "Carpet Art. Evolution of Meanings" was organized in partnership with Azerbaijan's National Carpet Museum.
The exposition showcased modern rugs by carpet artist Chingiz Babayev, who works under the creative pseudonym CHINGIZ as well as traditional carpets centuries woven across Azerbaijan. Every single one of these carpets embodies a particular regional tradition based on their ornamental features, colors, and technical solutions. This exhibition will also open at the Carpet Museum on September 23," Malikova added.
Partnership with State Hermitage Museum
The museum actively cooperates with international partners and cooperation with the Hermitage Museum is another important step taken in this direction.
Speaking about this partnership, Malikova noted the joint inclusive programs for visually impaired people.
"The inclusive program is based on the old carwood technique, which combines a smooth background, made in a lint-free way, and a pile ornament. This convex ornament is good for tactile reading. For the Hermitage exposition, the museum's Traditional Technologies Department created mini-rugs that reflect fragments of the ornament of the Pazyryk rug, knows as the world's oldest carpet," she said
"The Hermitage staff determined the original wool colors of the Pazyryk carpet kept in this museum, and our staff developed sketches of carpet fragments and weaved rugs with convex patterns on them from yarn hand-dyed with natural dyes. Now we are going to jointly present this project of the two museums to the public at the 9th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum, where Azerbaijan received the honorary status of a guest country," she added.
New exhibits and future plans
The Carpet Museum stores over 14,000 exhibits of the finest Azerbaijani carpets.
This year, the museum's collection has been enriched with carpets and examples of the applied arts. The museum actively informs art lovers about new exhibits and upcoming events on social networking platforms.
The Carpet Museum is getting ready for new exhibitions, including international ones. Moreover, the museum plans to release a new book about the collection of pileless carpets. The publication will provide insight into the works of eminent carpet artist Kamil Aliyev, who created numerous samples of Azerbaijan's carpet weaving art.
In November, the Carpet Museum will also hold an international scientific and practical conference to mark the 100th anniversary of the carpet artist.
In conclusion, the carpet museum director invited art lovers to follow the museum on social networks to learn more about future events.
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