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Destination Details

Nukus, Uzbekistan

The city Nukus (Nokis in Karakalpak) is of limited interest to either tourists or inhabitants and is best used as a stopover for visits to the Aral Sea. Once you are here, however, its three affiliated museums are a must. The Karakalpak State Museum, Igor Savitsky and Appled Art Museum.
The city Nukus (Nokis in Karakalpak) is of limited interest to either tourists or inhabitants and is best used as a stopover for visits to the Aral Sea. Once you are here, however, its three affiliated museums are a must. The Karakalpak State Museum, Igor Savitsky and Appled Art Museumю The Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art named after I.V. Savitsky – also known, simply, as the Nukus Museum – hosts the world’s second largest collection of Russian avant gardeart (after the Russian Museum in St. Petersburg). It is also home to one of the largest collections of archeological objects and folk, applied and contemporary art originating from Central Asia. The highlight of Nukus is the recently relocated Igor Savitsky Museum, home to one of the finest collections of Soviet avant-garde art from the 1920th and 30th, an age of relative artistic freedom before the demands from the centre changed in the mid 1930th and Stalinist socialist realism became the only acceptable form of Soviet art. Nukus’s backwater obscurity enabled Savitsky to collect a wide spread of artistic life, from local art to Russian icons, at a time when the more celebrated museums in Moscow and in Petersburg had their wrists ideologically tied. Today the museum holds some 80,000 exhibits ranging from the Khorezmian art of Toprak Kala to Karakalpak cubism, which is the very knowledgeable and English-speaking director, Marinika Babnazarova, can place into sharper context. A few hundred metres left, out of the museum, hides the affiliated Museum of Applied Arts, where further fine examples of local fabrics, traditional dress and silver jewellery point to a distinct cultural tradition that is still hinted at today in local faces, although not local dress.

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