The fine and decorative art of Azerbaijan has an ancient history and rooted traditions. The development of modern fine and decorative-applied art is related to supporting artistic creativity and promoting creative works both nationally and internationally.
Support is provided to the visual arts in the following ways:
- publication of books, discs, booklets, catalogues, etc. dedicated to modern fine and decorative-applied art of Azerbaijan, and creation of related internet sites;
- Support for exciting projects in the different categories of fine and decorative-applied art;
- Holding national and international symposia, festivals, contests, and support for the participation of professionals in international projects and contests;
- Support and stimulation of the activities of talented young people;
- Offering all necessary facilities for transforming picture galleries into art centres;
- Formation of respective art collections, support for the exhibition and educational activity of galleries;
- Enriching the collections of local galleries with artworks, application of new information technologies.
The Azerbaijan State Art Gallery, as well as 32 state regional art galleries, are operating within the system of the Ministry for Culture in the sphere of fine arts (graphics, sculpture, painting, and partly architecture) and decorative-applied arts (carpet weaving, jewellery, copper-smithing, armaments, pottery, etc.) at present. Private galleries also operate in this field including the Union of Artists of Azerbaijan and its regional branches in Ganja, Nakhchivan, Sheki, and Lankaran, “YARAT!” Contemporary Art Space and other public associations. The creation of cultural heritage samples and national fine and decorative-applied arts in the Republic is possible mainly due to artists. Numerous events and exhibitions are held to support the development of digital art and contemporary art.
There is an extensive museum network in the Republic of Azerbaijan of historical, historical-regional ethnography, scientific, political, art and literature, patriotic museums, and house-museums of culture and artworks, promoting the visual arts and crafts sector in the country. In general, there are 239 museums in the country under the ministries and departments. 225 museums belong to the Ministry for Culture and 4 museums to the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, there is one museum in each of the Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, Ecology and Natural Resources, and the Interior. Furthermore, the State Oil Company has one museum, and one museum is private. Of the total number of museums, 76 are history museums, 42 are memorial museums, 68 are ethnographic museums, 41 are art museums, and 12 are other museums. The fund of museums in the Republic consists of 1 330 000 exhibits in total.
The main leading museums are Azerbaijan National Museum of Art, Azerbaijan National Carpet Museum, Azerbaijan State Theatre Museum named after Jafar Jabbarli, The State Museum of Musical Culture of Azerbaijan, National Museum of History of Azerbaijan,and Azerbaijan Independence Museum.