The exposition of one of the biggest museums in Tashkent – State Museum of History of Uzbekistan – contains more than 250.000 exhibits, including the most valuable numismatic, archeological and ethnographical relics, which tell about culture and traditions of peoples, populating territory of the country, about formation and development of the state system and evolution of ethnics of the Uzbek people.
Of great interest is the collection of coins from antique states, once situated on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. These are the coins of Hellenic state of Seleucids (3rd century B.C.), Graeco-Bactrian drachmas of the 3rd – 2nd centuries B.C. and coins of Kushan Kingdom that existed from the 1st century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D. Sogdian, Bucharan, Khoresmiam coins dating back to the first centuries AD are displayed next to the coins from Parthia and Sassanid kingdom, states of Yuezhi and Chang’an, Chinese coins of Tan dynasty. All of them vividly testify to strong trade connections between East and West on the crossroads of the Great Silk Road caravan trails.
In the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan there are exhibited Zoroastrian ossuaries, Sogdian and Baktrian wall paintings, Buddhist sculptures, Halchayan ceramics and artifacts of the Temurid dynasty, which tell about the rich spiritual and material heritage of the Uzbek people. One section of the museum is devoted to modern history of independent Uzbekistan.
In the center of the Uzbek capital, in the building crowned with the huge blue dome, which reminds ancient domes of Samarkand structures, there was accommodated the State Museum of Temurids. The interior of the museum is faced with marble; the cupola-shaped ceiling is ornamented and decorated in the best traditions of the Uzbek art with gold leaf; the walls of the show-rooms are decorated with frescos made in the style of oriental miniature paintings, which tell about the life of Amir Temur and historical periods of the country from the ancient times to the present days. Exposition of the museum is devoted to one of the most significant periods in the history of Uzbekistan – the epoch of Temur and his descendants, the Temurids. In the second half of the 14th century – beginning of the 15th century Amir Temur united isolated principalities and created a powerful state – Movarounnahr, with capital in Samarkand. The frontiers of the huge empire stretched from the Caucuses to the western remote areas of China. During his rule many towns were built and developed, irrigational systems were constructed, sciences and arts prospered. There have preserved up to present days magnificent architectural monuments of Temurid’s epoch: Bibi-Khanum mosque, Gur-Emir Mausoleum and Ulugbek Madrassah in Samarkand, Ak-Saray Palace in Shakhrisabz, Akhmad Yasavi Mausoleum in Turkistan (Kazakhstan) and many others. The reanimation of the trade at that period of time gave impetus to the further development of the Great Silk Road. Temur’s victories over Turkish Sultan Bayazed and Golden Horde khan Tokhtamish were regarded by the Old World as deliverance from Asian conquerors and contemporaries called Temur the “Liberator of Europe”.
Thousands of exhibits connected with the name of Sakhibkiran – carved wooden columns of the 15th century, articles of clothing, weapons, and ancient manuscripts, convey to the visitors the flavor of Temurid’s epoch.
The State Fine Arts Museum of Uzbekistan is the oldest museum in the republic. In 1918 there was nationalized the collection of pieces of art that decorated the palace of great Duke Nikolay Konstantinovich who lived in Tashkent. The collection included paintings, drawings, and sculptures by western and Russian artists, decorative furniture, articles made of crystal, porcelain and bronze. All this formed the basis for the museum. At the beginning of the twenties of the last century some pieces of art were handed over to the museum from the Tretiakov Gallery, Hermitage, Russian Museum and Pushkin Art Museum, as well as from the Moscow Rumiantsev Museum, which by that time had been closed. Later the collection of museum was enriched by acquisitions from private collections. Today the halls of the State Fine Arts Museum are adorned with the portraits by such famous Russian artists of the 18th century as F.Rokotov and D.Levitsky, the magnificent canvases by the artists of the 19th century V.Tropinin, K.Brulov, I.Ayvazovsky and I.Repin, K.Korovin, I.Levitan and K.Makovsky, the works of the founder of abstract painting V.Kandinsky. Of special interest are the paintings of one of the witnesses and “chronicler” of the capture of Turkestan by tsarist Russia ? V.Vereshiagin. The Museum has a vast collection of paintings from Italy, Spain, Germany, Flanders, England, France and Holland. The real gems of the exposition of West-European sculpture are several magnificent marble statues by A.Canova.
The section of Oriental art presents samples of medieval decorative-applied art from China, India, Iran and Japan.
Several show-rooms of the museum are assigned for the exhibits representing fine art of Uzbekistan. Here one can admire the paintings by Uzbek classical artists U.Tansykbaiev, N.Karakhan, the creator of “Pomegranate choyhona” A.Volkov, portraits by R.Ahmedov and B.Djalalov, works by R.Chariev, Ch.Ahmarov and D.Umarbekov.
The decorative-applied art is represented almost in every museum of Uzbekistan. But for those who really fancy folk crafts the visit to the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art of Uzbekistan can bring much pleasure. Before 1917 the building belonged to Polovtsev – a big industrialist and connoisseur of traditional oriental architecture. The interior walls of the museum are decorated with ancient ganch (kind of alabaster) carving and magnificent ornamental painting. The exposition of the museum offers the best samples of local folk crafts representing virtually all the regional schools and artistic trends of the 19th – 20th centuries. Here one can see “blue ceramics” of Rishtan and Gurumsaray craftsmen, pottery made by Shakhrisabz, Khiva, Gijduvan, and Tashkent hereditary potters – kulols. The special sections will tell the visitor about carpet weaving, hand embroidery and famous Bukharan gold embroidery. In some show-rooms of the museum the shimmering of the patterns on copper and brass engraved articles rivals the glittering of gold and precious stones of national jewelry. Part of the museum is assigned for exhibiting hand weaving articles and different elements of clothing and headwear.
However, what makes the Museum of Decorative and Applied Art of Uzbekistan differ from the rest of the museums is the regular organization in the museum halls of various exhibitions and sales of works of art by modern artisans.
The cultural traditions of Uzbekistan have roots in remote past. The best way to feel this connection of the times is to visit the Afrosiab History Museum in Samarkand. It is situated at the approach to the town, on the hills that hide ruins of Marakanda – the ancient capital of Sogdiana. It is known from the historical sources that when Alexander the Great occupied Sogd in 329 B.C., Marakanda was a big well fortified, prosperous town. For centuries there flourished here various crafts. It was one of the main trade centers on the Great Silk Road. It had many beautiful palaces and temples. Marakanda – Samarkand was completely destroyed and burnt to ashes in 1220 by the army of Ghengiz Khan. After these dreadful events the life in the city came to a standstill.
However, the new town, modern Samarkand, was built a few kilometers from it. Exploring the twelve-meter cultural layer of Afrosiab, scientists discovered multiple objects of Sogdian and Hellenic cultures, statues of Zoroastrian goddess Anahita and small terracotta heads of Athena, bronze articles and carved Greek gemmas, arrow heads, antique coins, ceramic and glass vessels. The excavation works carried out in the second half of the last century brought to light monumental paintings in the palace of the Sogdian rulers which date back to the beginning of the 7th century and magnificent stook panels in Samanid’s residential structures of the 9th – 10th centuries. All these treasures are now exhibited in the Afrosiab History Museum.
One of the most famous museums in Uzbekistan, a real phenomenon of “museum in the desert” as it was called by the leading art connoisseurs and experts, is the Karakalpak State Art Museum in the town of Nukus. It is named after its founder and the first director Igor Savitsky. The archeological exhibits of the museum tell about the intellectual wealth and culture of the ancient state Khorezm – the cradle of Zoroastrian doctrines, about trade relations of the Khoresmians with the antique world. The museum has a big collection of unique medieval ceramics, national Karakalpak silver and cornelian jewelry, traditional carpets.
But what makes the museum known world-wide is the collection of Russian avant-garde art of the twentieth-fortieth of the last century. According to its world significance it is second only to the collection of the Russian Museum in St-Petersburg. In the halls of the Karakalpak State Art Museum there are exhibited early works by A.Volkov and U.Tansykbayeva, the canvases by famous artists-impressionists who lived in Uzbekistan P.Benkov and Z.Kovalevskaya, Russian avant-garde artists of the beginning of the 20th century P.Kuznetsov, A.Kuprin, N.Ulianov, V.Rojdestvenskiy. Some of the masterpieces from the museum collection have been exhibited in Switzerland, France, and Italy.
In April 2002, when Termez was celebrating its 2500th anniversary, the Termez Archeological Museum opened its doors to visitors. This specialized museum is the only one in its kind in Central Asian region. The collection of the museum includes archeological artifacts, articles of numismatics, paintings, sculpture, photographs, household staff, etc.
There are various expositions here: exposition of Stone and Bronze Age, exposition of the Hellenic and Ancient Bactria period, exposition of Kushan’s culture of Northern Bactria, exposition of Northern Tokharistan in the early Middle Ages, exposition of the age of khanates, numismatic exposition. Thousands of exhibits tell about the many-century history of the region. The scientific library and the stores of the Termez Archeological Museum hold more than 16,000 unique books, periodicals and historical records. Among them there are valuable manuscripts and lithographic publications in Arabic, Persian and European languages.
Today in Uzbekistan there are more than 40 museums. Almost half of them are located in the capital of the country. And each of them, whether it is the Tashkent Museum to the Victims of Political Repressions or the Andijan Museum of Literature and Art, the Bukhara Architecture and Art Museum-reservation or the Archeological Museum in Termez, all of them possess really unique exhibits which are of everlasting historical and cultural value, and which tell about Uzbekistan – the country on the “golden sector” of the Great Silk Road.
Museums and Art Galleries in Tashkent
List and details of the most interesting Tashkent museums and Art Galleries
|The State Museum of History >>>
The State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is one of Central Asia’s largest and oldest research and educational institutions, dating back more than 120 years. The museum contains a unique collection of over 250,000 archeological, numismatic and ethnographic exhibits and archive materials. After the Republic of Uzbekistan became an independent state, the collection was laid out anew to reflect the results of the latest research into history from the Stone Age to modern times…
|The State Museum of Art >>>
The State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan is one of the largest museums in the Central Asia, which was founded in 1918 on the base of a small collection from 500 exhibits. These were the works of the Russian and the West-European art such as painting, sculpture, decorative furniture, porcelain and bronze…
|The State Museum of Applied Art >>>
The State Museum of Applied Arts of Uzbekistan is one of the largest museums in the Central Asia, which was founded in 1918 on the base of a small collection from 500 exhibits. These were the works of the Russian and the West-European art such as painting, sculpture, decorative furniture, porcelain and bronze. The most valuable exhibits of the antique and the early-medieval art of Uzbekistan are presented in the exposition of the museum; they are architectural decor, embroideries, rugs, fabrics, copper-stamping manufactures, golden needlework, jewelry art and others…
|Temurids Museum >>>
State Museum of History of Temurids opened in Tashkent on 18 October, 1996. The museum was placed in the centre of Tashkent for the 660-year anniversary of Amir Temur, and has an unusual shape, in the shape of a dome, in accordance with the style of famous local landmarks. From the early days of its existence, the museum has become a centre of scientific thought and education; its exhibits are of great historical value…
|Museum of Victims of Repressions >>>
The 1999 resolution led directly to the opening of the Museum of the Victims of Repression. The museum is located in the new Martyrs’ Memorial Complex, which honors those who suffered under Russian and Soviet colonial rule. The blue-domed building contains exhibits on the recent history of the territory that now comprises Uzbekistan, ranging from the first Russian incursions against the Khanate of Khiva…
|The Museum of Olympic Glory >>>
The Museum of Olympic glory was created by the Resolution of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the ceremony opening of the museum took part the President of the republic of Uzbekistan I.A. Karimov and the president of the International Olympic Committee Xuan Antonio Samaranch. Common square of the museum is 2121 sq. meters, and square of the expositions hall is 1073. Number of principal exhibits – 2088, 1005 constant exhibits….
|Art Gallery of Uzbekistan >>>
The richest collection of artworks of Uzbekistan from the beginning of the Twentieth century up to the present day, as well as a unique collection of Central Asian currency are presented in the Art Gallery, which opened its doors on the eve of the celebration of the Independence Day of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2004. The first exposition largely includes the collection of the Paintings Gallery of the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which was established in 1994 upon the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov…
|The Tashkent House of Photography >>>
The Tashkent House of Photography (THP) is situated in the centre of Tashkent in a monumental building with a facade executed in the style of Medieval Eastern architecture and decorated with a tile portal. This architectural monument was constructed in 1934 from the design of well-known Uzbek architects K. Babievsky and A. Petelin and the idea of ethnographer painter V. Rozvadovsky…
|Tashkent museum of railway engineering >>>
Tashkent museum of railway engineering was opened on August 4, 1989 in honor of Uzbek main railway line’s centenary. Tashkent museum of railway engineering is a member of the World Association of technical museums on the part of railway engineering and it is one of the most interesting museums of this type around of globe. At present time 13 steam-engines, 18 diesel and 3 electric locomotives of historical series, produced in the last millennium…
|Tashkent Planetarium >>>
Perhaps every one of us in childhood dreamt of conquering space, flying to the skies, observing the Earth from above or making a few steps on the Moon. It is barely possible today for majority of people to repeat those feats of brave cosmonauts. However, everyone who wants to look at Saturn rings and Jupiter companions could observe them in the Tashkent planetarium…
|House museum of Aybek Musa Tashmukhamedov >>>
The House museum of Aybek Musa Tashmukhamedov (1905-1968). The house museum of Aybek is in one of the old areas of Tashkent. Here, in the silent street of Tazetdinova (formerly Kislovodsk), in 1940 Aybek lived with his family. In the scientific library of the museum there are books, magazines, newspaper cuttings, the first publications of the edition in various languages, literature on the life and creativity of the writer, and manuscripts produced by classic writers of eastern literature: Navoi, Fuzli, Hafiza, Sufi Allayara, Yassavi …
|Memorial house museum of Tamara Khanum >>>
The home-museum of Tamara Khanum was created in 1994, based on the ongoing exhibition of her costumes. In the museum of Tamara Khanum you can see the original surroundings where she spent the last years of her life, many of her costumes, photographs from the 1920-80s, and manuscripts, as well as her unpublished memoirs, and listen to her songs…
|Memorial house museum of Yuldash Akhunbabayev >>>
In the 1930s-1940s, Yuldash Akhunbabayev made a considerable contribution to the development of the economy and culture of Uzbekistan. During this time he took part in organizing irrigation and agricultural projects. He also participated in the cultural revolution, in the eradication of illiteracy and the liberation of women …
|Memorial house museum of Ural Tansykbaev >>>
The Home-museum of the USSR People’s Artist Ural Tansykbaev’s creative years, covers the period between the 1920s and the 1970s. U. Tansykbaev’s heritage is immense. The artist’s most important works are exhibited both in the memorial part of the museum, and in a gallery built for this purpose…
|House museum of Gafur Guliam >>>
The museum is located in the house where Gafur Guliam lived and worked from 1944-66.In the literary part you can see photographs, original documents and personal items of the poet, as well as first and later editions of his works. In the memorial part you can see his study, living room and recreation room. There are books from his personal library, his desk and household items…
|Mukhtar Ashrafi’s Home-museum >>>
Mukhtar Ashrafi’s Home-museum is devoted to the famous Uzbek composer and conductor, People’s Artist of the USSR, and one of the founders of the national opera, who dedicated his whole life to the development of Uzbekistan’s musical culture. The museum was opened to visitors in 1982 …
|Sergey Esenin Museum >>>
Sergey Esenin was a great Russian poet, the author of hundreds of popular poems including a series of poems “Persian Motives”. In 1921 Sergey Esenin visited Tashkent, met local poets and read his poem “Pugchev” which he’d just finished.
Address: 20, Mustakillik Str., Tolstoy deadlock
|Sergey Borodin House-Museum >>>
Sergey Borodin was a famous Russian writer of the middle of the XXth century, an author of series of important books of historical prose. His novel “Dmytry Donskoi” and historical epopee “The stars over Samarkand” have got great popularity.
Address: 18, Nashkar-Begi Str.
|Astronomy Museum >>>
Address: 33, Astronomicheskaya Str.
|The Central Museum the Armed Forces >>>
Address: 98, Mirzo Ulugbek Ave.
|Film-art museum of Uzbekistan >>>
Address: 98, Uzbekistanskiy Ave., Cinema Hause
|Museum of Health Protection >>>
Address: 30, Istiqlol Str.
|Museum of the Literature of Navoi >>>
Address: 69, Navoi dist.
|Museum of Nature >>>
Address: 1, Niyazov Str.
|Geological Museum >>>
Address: T. Shevchenko Str.