The house museum of Amet and Ayimkhan Shamuratov
Address: 29, Sarayev St., Nukus City
Tel.: (+998-61) 222-11-00, 222-34-52
Amet Shamuratov (1912-1953) was an outstanding Karakalpak writer, translator, public figure and statesman. In 1939 he became a member of the USSR Writers' Union, and in 1952 he became Chairman of the Karakalpak Writer's Union.
As a writer, he is widely known for his stories "In an old school" and "My meetings with tigers", his drama "Kirk Kiz" and for his numerous poems.
His works have been translated into the Russian, Uzbek and Kazakh languages.
Ayimkhan Shamuratova belonged to that brilliant generation of singers and dancers of Central Asia, such as Tamara khanum, Khalima Nasirova, Mukaram Turganbaeva, Sara Ishanturaeva, who were the backbone of Uzbek theatrical art, and who brought the country worldwide fame.
Ayimkhan Shamuratova (1917-1993) a People's Artist of the USSR, was one of the first Karakalpak actresses, who had dreamed of the stage since her early years and whose dream came true on the stage of Berdakh music and drama theatre. It is hard to separate in her creative work acting and singing, as she preferred both, which in the end made up the cultural phenomenon of Ayimkhan Shamuratova's art.
Throughout her long acting life, she played hundreds of roles in plays by Karakalpak, Kazakh, Uzbek and Russian dramatists on the stage of the Berdakh music and drama theatre.
Once she confessed that since her childhood she had been accompanied by the melodies "Bozatau", "Sorkol", and "Aksungul", on which were based folk Karakalpak songs and songs composed by the national poets Berdakh and Ajiniyaz.
It was in her singing style that the Karakalpak folk song acquired its specific sound, original intonation and national character, which became the Standard for other singers to imitate.
Ayimkhan Shamuratova's art and her contribution to the development of national culture aroused the admiration and poetic responses of many men of letters.
Ayimkhan Shamuratova’s creative work was highly appreciated by the government and the people.
In 1940 she became a People’s Artist of Karakalpakistan and in 1950 – a People’s Artist of Uzbekistan.
For her great contribution to the development of culture, in 1968 Ayimkhan was awarded the highest title of a People’s Artist of the USSR.
Her contribution to the spiritual life of the people was so great that in 1994 the Ayimkhan Shamuratova Fund was founded by the republic, by artists, writers and by the actress's children. The fund was registered in the Ministry of Justice.
The life and creative work of the celebrated couple in Karakalpakistan were dear not only to their relatives, friends and admirers of their talent. After their death several streets, schools were named after them.
Amet and Ayimkhan Shamuratov both belonged to that glorious cohort of creators of new culture, who loved freedom and the opportunity to express this feeling in a vivid and original way.
In 1998 was inaugurated the Amet and Ayimkhan Shamuratov house museum. The building of the museum is situated in Nukus, at 29 Sarayev Street.
The exposition of the museum is based on the personal belongings of the celebrated couple, and on the actress's rich achievements. The collection of the house museum consists of photographs, books, documents, portraits, and concert posters, illustrating their joint path.
Little by little the collection of the museum has been enlarged with folk handicraft wares such as carpets, all kinds of household utensils, jewelry and items representing the recent past.
In the photographs are the people who created the history of Karakalpakistan, the pick of the national culture. Among them are writers, men of art, scientists and scholars, outstanding Karakalpak public figures and statesmen: Mateke Jumanazarov, Pirjan Seitov, Sabir Kamalov, Kallibek Kamalov, Najim Davkaraev, Marat Nurmukhamedov, Jolmurza Aimurzaev, Ibrayim Yusupov, Genjebai Ibaidullaev, Japak Shamuratov, Gulkhan Shiraziyeva, Tarbiya Jolimbetova, Orazgul Allamuratova, Tokhta Rakhmanova, Yuldash Mamutov, Yuldash Sharipov and others.
The Shamuratovs' house museum represents the Karakalpak culture of the period when the common working people and the public were involved in creating their culture. It is the embodiment of the Twentieth century, with its achievements and errors.
The exposition displayed in the Museum helps to observe the close links of Karakalpak literature and art with Uzbek, Russian, Kazakh, Turkmen and Azerbaijani cultures, of which Amet and Ayimkhan Shamuratov were closely linked, having close relations with men of letters and art in many countries.
Thanks to the exposition devoted to Ayimkhan Shamuratova, you will enter the world of modern Karakalpak women; you will see the image of an actress who, having absorbed the best traditions of Uzbek and European cultures, created her own
Here is recreated the world that once surrounded her. You will see the peculiar mixture of styles, eras and traditions, where a railed woman's hat from the 30s sits side by side with an Uzbek woman's headdress, and gilded high heeled shoes mingle with high boots embroidered with Uzbek ornamentation.
In the exposition are original letters, documents, and telegrams, including one appreciative telegram from Josef Stalin to the actress, who during World War II, with her concert activities, managed to raise enough money to build a few war planes for the front.
This is the museum devoted to an ordinary Karakalpak woman - the people's favorite, who, having become a widow didn't give up, and raised her seven children, giving them all a formal education. Like many of her contemporaries she, saying no to death and with great dignity, went through all life's hardships and managed to retain the best qualities of the heroines she portrayed on the stage.
One of the tasks of the Shamuratova Fund is to learn and popularize her singing and dramatic art. That's why the dance/ethnographic ensemble "Ayimkhan Lapizi" (Ayimkhan's melodies) has been set up, which is attached to the museum.
In addition, connected to the museum are hobby groups and clubs for studying the Russian and English languages, circles for mastering Uzbek embroidery, and a nursery school.
The German magazine "Freie Welt" wrote that Ayimkhan Shamuratova was a woman of an extraordinary destiny, who managed to retain her love and devotion to the theatre and to the acting art, and who in spite of being a widow raised seven children, giving each a start in life.
This museum is a kind of visiting card of the original culture of the Karakalpaks.
The Museum is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.