Throughout their rich history, the Turkish people have excelled in the art of stone and woodworking. Archaeologists have been fortunate enough to discover examples of wooden pillars, Koran cases, columns, furniture and architecture that are centuries old and still in magnificent condition. Some of the discovered works of art have made it into private collections, some have appeared in antique shops. Fortunately for the masses, this artistry was so prevalent in Turkish culture, there are museums in Turkey that are devoted to the history of woodworking and there are many pieces that made it into museums for aficionados to enjoy.
The Museum of Woodworking is one such place. It is also known as the Ahşap Eserler Müzesi or the Wooden Works Museum. It is an art museum and gallery that is completely dedicated to the craft of woodworking. The museum covers the rich history and diversity of woodworking techniques that have existed for centuries. The museum is located in Eskişehir, Turkey. Both the museum and art gallery were originally established by the Municipality of Odunpazarı, a region which literally translates into ‘firewood market’. It was built in 2016 and was inspired by the International Wood Sculpture Symposium after Turkey hosted the event. During this time, there were 160 items created during this time period. The 4th International Wood Sculpture Symposium was held at the museum in 2018 and 2019 with the theme “The Voice of The Wood”. The museum now hosts the International Wood Sculpture Festival each year.
The museum was relocated a year later to a 16th-century Ottoman mosque. That location was, in fact, a perfect choice because it is widely believed that the Ottoman period is when woodworking artists produced some of their finest work, and this era is widely represented throughout the museum exhibits.
The museum is rated #15 on TripAdvisor things to do in Eskişehir. The entrance fee is extremely reasonable and the only day the museum is closed is on Mondays. Otherwise, it is open from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.
The museum highlights many techniques that were used throughout the adaptation of woodwork, such as Kündekari, the art of manually interlocking pieces of wood that have been pre-shaped, without the need for glue or nails. The pieces remain perfectly interconnected because of precise positioning and the carving of the pieces. The museum also showcases the Seljiuk wood works of art and contrasts it against the early and late Ottoman periods.