Wednesday, December 16, 2020

New Director of the Savitsky Museum, Nukus - Tigran Mkrtychev

New director Tigran Mkrtychev
Marinika Babanazarova was hand picked by Igor Savitsky to take over the directorship of the Karakalpak Museum of Art in Nukus, usually referred to as the Savitsky Museum. 

Leading the museum for 34 years, Dr Babanazarova was responsible for the museum gaining world-wide recognition as a unique collection of avant-garde Soviet art, Karakalpak jewellery and textiles, and priceless pieces from the Sergei Tolstov archaeological expeditions, conducted in Khorezm from 1937.

Since Dr Babanazarova's departure a few years ago, the museum has been in flux. Several directors pulled it back to "regional museum" status rather than the international status that Dr Babanazarova had built. 

Fears abounded about the collection. At one stage Alexander Shevchenko 's 1914 painting "Woman with Buckets" was seriously damaged in 2018 by a recently and badly installed sprinkler system.

In 2019 an international competition was held for the post of director. The very positive news is that Dr Tigran Mkrtychev takes up the directorship on 2 January 2021.

Tigran Konstantinovich Mkrtychev is a Soviet and Russian archaeologist and art historian, currently working as the director of the Roerich Museum, a branch of the State Museum of Oriental Art in Moscow. 

He was born in Kalinin and lived in Uzbekistan for 10 years. Firstly as a student in the Department of Archeology of Central Asia, Tashkent State University,  Later he participated in expeditions with the famous archaeologist Galina Pugachenkova, who devoted her life to Central Asian civilizations.

Dr Mkrtychev continued archaeological work in the post-Soviet period in Central Asia, Tuva and China. He has written extensively on Central Asian Buddhist art as well as avante garde art of the region.

The brilliant Marinika Babanazarova
I am convinced with this appointment that the museum is back in good hands, that international partnerships will once again be prioritized and that the collection is protected.

As an aside, last week there was a rock concert inside the museum by the cool Tashkent group Electrooko. The video is posted below. [If the video does not appear on your device, go directly to]
For Uzbek Journeys clients who visited this museum in the far western desert, you will enjoy viewing the artworks again as well as the music.
For those of you who plan a visit to Uzbekistan, make sure to include this extraordinary museum on your itinerary.
Related posts: