There are so many places to go to in Uzbekistan: magnificent mosques, mausoleum that carry thousands of years of history, fortresses that were conquered by greatest conquerors in history, caravanserais and bazaars that were opened to traders of the Great Silk Road from all over the world.
Alongside with historical treasures and finest pieces of Central Asian architecture, Uzbekistan is known for its crafts and applied arts. Exposure to different cultures through the Great Silk Road formulated a unique mix of styles and techniques that turned into Uzbek national heritage. Uzbek applied arts and crafts is comprised of many things: ceramics, embroidery, carpeting, silk weaving, and jewelry making.
Craftsmen and artists are sprinkled all over Uzbekistan. Bukhara and Kokand are known as centers of decorative weaving crafts; centers of manufacture of embroidery are Shakhrisabz and Tashkent, ancient pottery centers are still alive in Urgut and Khorezm. Lately, Uzbekistan has been paying a lot of attention to preservation of national applied arts and crafts. Historical centers of manufacture are reviving, production is increasing, forgotten forms and techniques are being restored.
Luckily, there’s one place that carries the best examples of Uzbek cultural heritage and it is Museum of Applied Art of Uzbekistan. The first exhibition of artworks by Uzbek artists was coincided with foundation of the museum, in 1927, Tashkent. Today the museum possesses more than 7,000 items of Uzbek crafts and applied arts. All exhibits can be divided into 3 groups: examples of applied arts with ancient traditions, works produced considering traditional craftsmen’s techniques and not later than the second half of 19th century, and examples of modern art.
Museum of Applied Art offers best examples of Uzbek national decorative heritage. Uzbek crafts and applied arts had gone through centuries of formation, being influenced by ancient cultures. It’s hard to imagine a traveler who wouldn’t want to see results of this process.