One of the few museums in Uzbekistan that is definitely worth a visit, the Fine Art Museum’s 4 floors offer a wide range of exhibits. Even if you do’nt care for Uzbek paintings you might still find yourself marveling over a Japanese kimono, or get stuck in the gift shop selecting old postcards from Tashkent.
On the first floor, early Buddhist, Graeco-Bactrian and Kushan art dug up from archaeological sites around Uzbekistan serves an introduction to a large section dedicated to Uzbek applied arts. Especially the suzani collection is marvellous, but there is also wood carving, ceramics and clothing. If you are not fanatic about arts & crafts, you can skip the Applied Arts Museum; this is a worthy primer.
The second floor is given over to European art. Lots of paintings, with some notables like Kandinsky and Repin that somehow ended up here. The collection of Italian marble art is beautiful and touching, so far from home.
Then it’s time for Uzbek painting and sculpture. There is more space for modern works these days, and experimentation with form and content. Scenes of old mud-walled houses, cotton-picking and bazaars are of course also represented.
Finally, an Eastern section present a wide-ranging collection of art objects from India, Iran, China, Korea and Japan.