A carpet is not just a piece of decoration that you can place on the floor of your space and forget. It is carefully and painstakingly over a piece of art that is much like a tapestry that can be adorned on walls. They are so precious that they often become heirlooms. Such carpets deserve to be displayed for being the marvel that they are and this is why carpet art galleries exist. Here is a list of some of the top carpet art galleries and their role in helping people learn more about carpets.
Carpets and Cultural Heritage
There is quite a deep connection between carpets and cultural heritage. The designs on carpets, especially the ones in traditional style and handwoven by local artisans, are often the reflection of the area’s culture where they are manufactured. Carpets have been a part of India’s culture for hundreds of years and before carpets, there were Dhurries, which were also culturally significant. The people of India have been weaving stories in one form or the other and now their creations are the tapestries that connect you to their culture and history.
When the Mughals brought the art of carpet weaving to India, particularly to the carpet manufacturers in Agra, they gave them another medium to bring stories to life. Carpets became an essential part of the interiors of palaces and homes of royals and nobles. In today’s age, they may have become a decoration for the home of a common man but they still give off the air of luxury. They are a piece of cultural heritage right in your personal space.
Carpets are a result of the combination of the skill of local artisans and the culture of the place to which they belong. The skills possessed by these artisans are a legacy of their ancestors. Every generation of carpet weavers is given this incredible set and knowledge as a gift so that the craft is never forgotten. Their persistence in keeping the art authentic while also adapting it to modern times is what makes their craftsmanship remarkable.
Each carpet created by them has a uniqueness that comes because of the many personal touches that are left behind by the artisans in the manufacturing process. Hand-knotted and hand-tufted carpets carry the essence of their weavers’ souls in them because of their handmade nature. Witn the use of different designs and colours, they are able to create timeless wonders that sear themselves into the beholder’s gaze.
Function of Carpet Art Galleries
An art gallery is a place where various art pieces created by a number of different artists can be exhibited and appreciated by art connoisseurs. Carpet art galleries serve as the platform where the craftsmanship of the artisans is given the exposure it needs. Different styles of carpets are put on display not only to educate the viewers but also to draw their attention to the craft and empower the artisans.
India’s Top Carpet Art Galleries
Indian Museum, Kolkata
The Indian Museum situated in Kolkata is not only one of the largest but also one of the oldest museums in the whole of Asia. Founded in the year 1814, this museum serves as an art gallery with a large collection of carpets hailing from different regions of the country. Every region where carpet weaving is a popular craft has a different style in which the artisans specialise. All of such carpets are exhibited in this museum for visitors to see and fall in love with.
National Museum, Delhi
Delhi is the capital of India and it is the city with an extremely rich history. It is where people of different cultures come together in a perfect mix. The National Museum has a collection that is such a mix, with carpets the styles of which represent the various carpet manufacturing areas and their heritage.
Crafts Museum, Delhi
This museum acts as a carpet Art Gallery in India specifically for various Indian crafts. The traditional crafts that are a part of India’s history and cultural heritage are proudly exhibited there. When it comes to traditional Indian crafts, carpet weaving is counted as one of the popular ones. So, naturally, you can see a beautiful collection of carpets there, be it Mughal, Persian, or any other traditional style.
Calico Museum of Textiles, Ahmedabad
The textile industry and the carpet manufacturing industry are closely linked together because the craft of creating carpets is also carried on by weaving threads of a certain material or a combination of materials together. The Calico Museum of Ahmedabad is an excellent platform where carpets of various regions and styles can be displayed. This museum has
Gallery Kolkata, Kolkata
Kolkata has a number of art galleries both public and private but Gallery Kolkata is special for being one of the few that exhibits carpets. Carpets of different styles are carefully selected to be displayed for the visitors. These carpets are creations of highly skilled artisans and perfectly showcase their connection to the cultural heritage of the area to which they belong.
Akriti Art Gallery, New Delhi
Akriti is another private art gallery dedicated towards putting up for exhibition various kinds of art and craft, including carpets. The carpets displayed are brought there from numerous regions of India which are famous for the craft of carpet weaving.
Kalra Cottage Industry, Agra
KCI is one of the major carpet manufacturers in Agra but it doesn’t just stop there. It plays the role of a carpet art gallery, where buyers are treated to breathtaking displays of carpets woven in various styles by the local artisans. The display tells you the impact of Agra’s culture and history on the craft of carpet weaving.
Carpet art galleries are the perfect platform to bring cultural exposure not only to people outside India but inside of it as well. India is a land of diversity, so the culture of the people of this country changes according to the State and even the town to which they belong. Carpet weaving is a craft that is quite popular in many regions of the country but the culture of these regions is not necessarily well known to everyone. This is why carpets act as storytelling canvases that connect you to the culture of their regions.
The Bottom Line
These are some carpet art galleries and their role in helping you explore the rich tapestry that is the culture of every region of this country. If you are taking a trip to the Taj to learn more about the rich cultural heritage and history of the place as well as the Mughal era, and wish to visit a carpet art gallery in Agra, make KCI your stop. You will find timeless art that makes the carpets look more like tapestries, telling the tales of the past.