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Join The Friends of the Nukus Museum!

Want to join a growing and eclectic group of individuals working in international organizations, international financial institutions, NGOs, media, the private sector and just plain and simple cultural stalwarts who are supporting the Savitsky Collection?

If so, please join the Friends of the Nukus Museum (FoNM) today!

Annual Membership

July 1—June 30: €80 or US$100
(click to download membership application form)

Set up initially in Tashkent as an informal group during the early 1990s and later registered in Karakalpakstan as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 2001, the Friends of Nukus Museum (FoNM) is a small, but dedicated international network of advocates and supporters. In 2007, it was re-constituted as the Friends of Nukus Museum Foundation, a Dutch registered charity. The FoNM works with the Museum's Director on a variety of issues, ranging from developing a long-term development strategy and liaising with potential donors and other museums about possible exhibitions abroad; to financing practical activities such as the restoration of individual paintings, the printing of souvenir postcards and a 2-year 2012-13 calendar, the training of Museum staff, as well as other small-scale activities designed to promote the Museum and generate income for its local outreach activities.

What do Friends receive?

No less than 95% of Friends' membership dues go directly to the Museum to finance practical activities of the kind listed above (e.g. restoration of paintings, items for sale in its shop). In return, Friends receive

The FoNM's Board

David Pearce, Chairman
Kees Kramer, Deputy Chairman, Treasurer
Rada Lankina, Membership
Richard Dion
Marinika Babanazarova, ex-officio (Museum Director)

The Board has bi-weekly teleconference with the Museum's Director, Mrs. Marinika Babanazarova.

For further information, e-mail us by clicking here:

The Desert of Forbidden Art

How does art survive in a time of oppression? During the Soviet rule artists who stay true to their vision are executed, sent to mental hospitals or Gulags.

Their plight inspires young Igor Savitsky. He pretends to buy state-approved art but instead daringly rescues 40,000 forbidden fellow artist's works and creates a museum in the desert of Uzbekistan, far from the watchful eyes of the KGB. Though a penniless artist himself, he cajoles the cash to pay for the art from the same authorities who are banning it. Savitsky amasses an eclectic mix of Russian Avant-Garde art. But his greatest discovery is an unknown school of artists who settle in Uzbekistan after the Russian revolution of 1917, encountering a unique Islamic culture, as exotic to them as Tahiti was for Gauguin. They develop a startlingly original style, fusing European modernism with centuries-old Eastern traditions.

Ben Kingsley, Sally Field and Ed Asner voice the diaries and letters of Savitsky and the artists. Intercut with recollections of the artists' children and rare archival footage, the film takes us on a dramatic journey of sacrifice for the sake of creative freedom. Described as "one of the most remarkable collections of 20th century Russian art" and located in one of the world's poorest regions, today these paintings are worth millions, a lucrative target for corrupt bureaucrats and art profiteers. The collection remains as endangered as when Savitsky first created it, posing the question whose responsibility is it to preserve this cultural treasure.

To view the trailer, click here:

Redko - Girl on Beach

Sergey Luppov


Friends of Nukus Museum


Friends of Nukus Museum