Art lovers making the trip to the remote town of Nukus in western Uzbekistan to see the improbable collection of early Soviet avant-garde paintings should brace for disappointment. The Karakalpakstan State Museum of Art — best known as simply the Savitsky Museum — has temporarily sent 233 of its masterpieces to Moscow for a landmark show.
The “Treasures of Nukus” exhibition, which opened at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow on April 5, marks the first time the Savitsky Museum has shown its works beyond the confines of Uzbekistan since 1966.
Getting the exhibition to happen at all involved a bit of politics and a lot of negotiating.
The opening was timed to coincide with the inaugural state visit to Russia by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who was in the country on April 4-6. Mirziyoyev visited the exhibition with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, to whom he gifted a glossy album about the Savitsky Museum.
The symbolism was clear: Uzbekistan is not just a land of cotton and labor migrants, but also the home to an enviable cultural heritage.
To read the full story