The museum was founded by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee in 1934 on the basis of the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy, held in Dushanbe. Then the museum had only 530 exhibits. To date, there are more than 50,000 of them. Paintings and sculptures came to the museum from a number of central historical and art museums of the Russian Federation.
The museum, founded as the first state museum of the young Soviet republic of Tajikistan, was named after Kamollidin Behzod, the famous miniature master of the 15th-16th centuries.
In the 1960s, museum expositions were deployed in the former building of a technical school, located in the very center of Dushanbe. The museum has been operating in this three-story building for more than 40 years. Since its foundation, the museum has been subordinate to the Ministry of Culture of Tajikistan, and in 1999, by decision of the Government, the museum received national status.
The museum has the largest comprehensive museum collection in the country, which includes more than 50,000 exhibits on the history, culture and nature of Tajikistan. The collection includes works of painting, sculpture and graphics, samples of flora, fauna and mineralogical collections, as well as monuments of archeology, ethnography, literature, numismatic collections, fragments of outstanding architectural structures. Among the masterpieces of the museum collection are works of traditional decorative and applied art of the Tajiks of the 19th-20th centuries, unique archaeological sites of the Neolithic, Bronze Age up to the Middle Ages.
Of particular value is the numismatic collection of the museum, which consists of pre-Islamic (Greek-Bactrian, Kushan, Sasanian, Bukharkhudat) coins and coins of the Islamic period (Arab, Samanid, Karakhanid, Seljuk, Khorezm, Timurid and Mangyt).
The collection of epigraphic monuments of the museum is rich, in which there are samples of Greek, Pahlavi, Sogdian and Arabic inscriptions. Chronologically, the museum's collection covers the period from the 3rd millennium BC to the 3rd millennium BC. e. until the beginning of the 21st century.
Among the archaeological collections, the terracotta sculpture of Sogd (mid-1st millennium BC) is of particular interest.
An interesting collection of objects of material culture from the Sogdian castle on Mount Mug (8th century AD) in the upper reaches of the Zeravshan. The objects were discovered by Professor Freiman's expedition in 1933.
An invaluable monument of Tajik culture is the carved wooden Iskadara Mehrab (XI-XII century AD). Mehrab - a niche with a pointed end in the wall of the mosque, pointing in the direction of Mecca - was discovered by Professor M.S. Andreev in the village of Iskadar, Samarkand region in 1925. Today, the Mehrab of the Sasanian era is assessed as a unique architectural and ethnographic monument. It consists of more than 300 parts, and you can see more than 100 types of ornament on it. The mehrab is made of wood without a single nail or glue, by adjusting the details. It has a Kufi inscription representing the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad.
The expositions of the museum are located on three floors of the building. On the first floor, a permanent exhibition tells about the diversity of nature in Tajikistan. Numerous stuffed animals and birds living on the plains and in the mountains of the republic are exhibited here, including specimens of rare species of fauna listed in the Red Book, as well as preparations of the ichthyological collection and the collection of reptiles. A large section of the exposition is dedicated to the minerals and flora of Tajikistan. The exhibition tells about the current environmental problems of the republic and measures to protect the environment, about the nature protection zones and nature reserves existing in the country.
On the ground floor of the museum building there are also rooms for temporary exhibitions hosted and organized by the museum.
On the second floor there are halls with archaeological and ethnographic collections, which make it possible to trace the centuries-old history of the Tajik people and tell about the ancient past of Tajikistan. The department of arts and crafts presents clay toys and finely made knives from Istaravshan, ornamented wooden dishes from Kanibadam, brightly embroidered bedspreads and clothes of dancers from Kulyab, multi-colored woolen socks of the Pamiris, national musical instruments, women's jewelry, decoration of the traditional dwelling of Tajiks.
The permanent exhibition of paintings, graphics and sculpture from the museum's collection is also located in the halls of the second floor and presents works by Western European, Russian and national authors.
The exposition on the third floor is dedicated to the history of Tajikistan in the 11th-20th centuries. and activities of the President of the Republic Emomali Rahmon. Its sections present materials on the establishment of Soviet power and the civil war of the early 20th century in Tajikistan, reflect the contribution of the peoples of the republic to the victory of the USSR in World War II, talk about the economic and cultural development of Tajikistan in the second half of the 20th century, as well as the establishment of independence and the development of an independent statehood.
Etiquette in Tajik and Russian.
The museum regularly organizes exhibitions of paintings from its own funds, hosts foreign photo exhibitions, and also participates in various temporary exhibitions in Tajikistan. The museum conducts sightseeing tours and lectures for schoolchildren and students, and refresher courses are held for employees of museums in Tajikistan.
The museum develops projects for the restoration, storage and documentation of collections with various international organizations and foundations, such as the Open Society Institute, UNESCO, Restorers Without Borders.
Address: Republic of Tajikistan, 734025 Dushanbe, str. Aini, 31
Tel.: (+992-37) 221-60-36, 227-15-08
Web site: http://www.newnmt.tj
The museum is open: from 9.00 to 16.00
Sunday: from 9.00 to 15.00