Famous people of Shusha

The people of Shusha made it the pearl of the Caucasus, the cradle of our culture, the mugham-singing heart of Azerbaijan

Famous people of Shusha

Latif Karimov

Also known as Latif Huseyn oglu Karimov

Artist designer author carpet weaver

Latif Karimov was a notable Azerbaijani carpet designer, who gained prominence for his contributions to the art of carpet making. He was a founder of Azerbaijan Carpet Museum and author of scientific work Azerbaijan Carpet. In addition, Latif contributed to a number of books, classifying and describing various designs of Azerbaijani rugs.

Background 

Latif Karimov was born on November 17, 1906, in Shusha, Russian Empire (present-day Shusha, Azerbaijan). He was a son of Mashadi Huseyn, a hatter, and Telli, a carpet-weaver.

Education

In 1910, when Latif was four years old, his family moved to Mashhad, Iran, and settled in the Karabakh quarter of the city. At the age of 14, he finished his studies at the local madrasa. During the period from 1924 till 1927, the artist studied at Hossein Behzad’s studios in Tehran and Mashhad.

Career 

At the age of 14, Latif started working at a carpet shop, learning the art of carpet weaving at the same time. In the early years of his career, he also traveled throughout Iran, excelling in this craft. Some time later, Karimov was invited by the Soviet Consulate in Tehran to be a member of the Russian cultural club. There, he later headed and participated in plays by Uzeyir Hajibeyov and established an Azeri choir as well.

From the late 1920’s, the artist participated in the social rights movement. On behalf of the weavers of Mashhad, he demanded an eight-hour working day and improvement of working conditions. In 1929, Latif left for Afghanistan on a working trip in order to advance theatrical arts there. Two months later, the artist came back to Iran, because of unbearable living conditions in Afghanistan. The same year, Latif got Soviet citizenship.

When Karimov settled down in Shusha, he organized and held carpet weaving courses, representing Iranian techniques, that were unknown to many weavers at that time. In addition, Karimov created goshmas (Azeri poetic genre) for weak students, for whom it was difficult to remember all weaving techniques. Some time later, the artist established the same courses in Baku and Quba.

In 1930, Latif worked as a carpet art specialist at the Azerbaijan Carpet Maker’s Union. Four years later, in 1934, his carpet, dedicated to the millenary of Ferdowsi’s birth, was displayed with success at the World Fair in Paris.

Besides being a carpet weaver, Karimov also designed jewelry, wood carvings, various patterns and decorated the interiors of buildings. In 1937, the artist was appointed to design the Azeri hall of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition, working together with Rustam Mustafayev.

When the Great Patriotic War started, Latif was made an Iranian news edition broadcaster at the Azerbaijan State Radio. Between 1940 and 1941, he worked on the design of the National Museum of Azerbaijan literature named after Nizami Ganjavi.

Some time later, in 1945, the artist was made a director of the Department of Fine Arts at the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan Institute of the Arts. In 1950, Karimov defended his candidate dissertation on the history of the Azerbaijani carpet. During the period from 1947 till 1977, he worked on the Dictionary of Oriental Music. The year 1954 was very important for Karimov. It was the year when he held his first solo exhibition, where he presented his carpets, architectural ornaments, wood carvings, china vases, jewelry and graphic items.

During the period from 1961 till 1983, Karimov worked on the creation of a book on the history, development and structure of over 1300 pattern elements of Azerbaijani carpet. In 1967, he established the Azerbaijan Carpet Museum – the first rug museum in the world. In 1986, Latif held a solo exhibition in London. The following year, in 1987, another solo exhibition of the artist’s works was held in Baku.

During his career, Latif was also involved in scientific activities and worked at the Institute of Architecture and Art of Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan SSR. In addition, he was the creator of a separate carpet department. Moreover, Karimov acted as a scientific adviser to the Washington Textile Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Topkapi Museum in Istanbul and participated in a number of international symposiums.

In addition, being a leader of the “Azerkhalcha” Association for more than 50 years, Latif Kerimov trained many artists and masters in the art of carpet making. For many years, Latif was the head of the Department of “Artistic Textiles” at the Institute of Arts, named after M. Aliev.

Achievements

Latif Karimov was an outstanding specialist in the field of carpet weaving and decorative art. He was also known as the founder of the first carpet museum in the world, as well as the author of a fundamental scientific work “Azerbaijan Carpet”. Also, during his lifetime, Karimov restored many lost carpet compositions and increased the influence of Azerbaijani carpets in general.

The artist received many awards, including the State Stalin Prize in 1950, Order of Friendship of Peoples in 1986 and other awards. In 1955, Latif was made the Honored Art Worker of the Azerbaijan SSR. In 1960, he was honoured with the title of the People’s Artist of the Azerbaijan SSR.

Some of Karimov’s carpets are kept in the museums of Ankara, Istanbul and Tehran.

Works

Book

Azerbaijan Carpet II 1983

Azerbaijan Carpet III

Azerbaijan Carpet I 1961

Design

“Sefieddin Urmevi” portrait carpet (Azerbaijan National Museum of Art)

All works

Politics

Beginning in the late 1920’s, Latif participated in the social rights movement. In 1945, he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Views

In his oeuvre, Latif always welcomed innovations, but at the same time, he remained a supporter of creative traditions. Karimov developed an interesting synthesis in his carpets by combining the traditions of East and West. He tried to establish a bridge between these two territories.

Personality

Besides the art of carpet weaving, Latif was also interested in boxing, music, literature and performing arts.

Connections

Latif was married to Shovket. Their marriage produced three children, including Siyâvash, Pervesh and Karim. One of Latif’s grandchildren, Fuad Karimov, keeps the Karimov name, going on in America.

Father: Mashadi Huseyn

Mentor: {“type”:”block”,”srcClientIds”:[“a990e5c8-29a0-449d-9670-8ec4ce59e0ce”],”srcRootClientId”:””}Hossein Behzad

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