Cover Osteuropa 3/2012

In Osteuropa 3/2012

The Muses’ Kiss in Nukus
Soviet Avant-garde Art in the Uzbek Province

Tobias Rupprecht

Deutsche Fassung


The Autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan in Uzbekistan is known as the scene of an ecological disaster of global proportion: the desiccation of the Aral Sea. Less well known is that a first-rate cultural treasure is to be found in Nukus, the autonomous republic’s capital: the republic’s State Art Museum has one of the world’s finest collections of Soviet avantgarde art. The ca. 15,000 paintings that museum founder Igor Savitskii collected in secret from throughout the Soviet Union starting in the 1960s tell the story of a generation of artists who fell victim – often physically – to Stalin’s cultural policies, who remained banned even after Stalin’s death, and who were only snatched from oblivion by Savitskii.

(Osteuropa 3/2012, pp. 159–207)