The Kasteyev State Museum is the largest art museum in Kazakhstan and a well-known regional center for research and education in the field of art history. It was opened on September 16, 1976 and inherited the collection of the Shevchenko Kazakh State Gallery (founded in 1935) and the Republic Museum of Decorative and Applied Art (founded in 1970). In 1984, the Museum was renamed in honor of Abylkhan Kasteyev (1904-1973), the first Kazakh professional artist and a People’s Artist of Kazakstan.
The museum has a rich collection of artistic treasures comprising more than 23,000 pieces. These include work of ancient and contemporary Kazakhstan art, works of the Soviet period (1920s-1990s), Russian artworks from the 17th to early 20th centuries, Western European art of the 16th-20th centuries, and finally, art of the peoples of the East – India, China, Japan and Korea.
The collection of Dutch and Flemish Art of XVI-XVIII centuries (painting and drawing) is in highly artistic level confirmed by experts from Netherlands. The art historian and other specialists of the museum have longstanding experience in the collection, handling and storing of art works. The building, designed by the architects E. Kuznetsova, O. Naumova, and V. Novikov, is a simple, laconic structure that has become an integral part of the city’s skyline.
The guides and professional staff of he museum conduct excursions on the permanent and current exhibitions in the different languages. The exhibition rooms are located on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the museum. The rich and diverse collection gives a vivid representation of the artistic culture of Kazakhstan, Western Europe and the countries of the East, acquainting the visitor with the creative work of artists past and present.
The museum is becoming of a center of new cultural initiatives. Its wide contacts allow the museum to organize solo exhibitions by Kazakhstan and foreign artists and conduct other events that are the great interest to art connoisseurs.