State Art Museum named after A.Kasteev is the largest art museum in Kazakhstan, which is leading scientific -research and cultural- educational center in the field of fine arts.
History of the museum began in 1935 with the exhibition "15th anniversary of the Kazakh SSR", after which it was decided to preserve the exposure and to create a Kazakh state art gallery. The Museum of Applied Folk Arts of Kazakhstan was organized in 1970. The museum is mainly specialized on collection and exhibition of Kazakh folk arts and crafts.
In 1976, the State Art Museum of the Kazakh SSR was established after combination of the Kazakh State Art Gallery and the Museum of Applied Folk Arts of Kazakhstan. The museum was named after Kazakh artist, founder of the Kazakh national school of painting Abylkhan Kasteev in 1983.
The museum is located in a modern building since 1983, which was built on the shore of the Esentay River. The authors of the project are architects: E. Kuznetsova, O. Naumova, B.Novikov, and designers Z.Sukhanov, M.Kasharsky and B. Tsigelman. The museum building is a model of public architecture of the XX century in Almaty. The atrium of the museum is the traditional three-dimensioned techniques of regional architecture, plastic and coloristic saturated sculpture, painting with colored accents, swirl ornamental structures of felts. Entrance, which located on the side facade, accentuates visor that based on the square of marble pillars. Special expressiveness is given by tetrahedral glass pyramid roof, through which the core of the building is illuminated and upper galleries of two-level hall "subscriptions". Pyramidal volume "Lights" illuminates the room of the third floor. In the center is a patio with trees, flower gardens and decorative pools, which serve as an effective mean of "museum fatigue". In 1982, the museum building was included to the list of monuments of history and culture of the Kazakh SSR with national significance, and taken under state protection.
Preservation of collection takes much attention in the museum. All rooms are equipped with central air-condition, which keeps a constant temperature, level of humidity and light. Qualified professionals-climatologists control the measurement of temperature and humidity.
From the first day of foundation the museum becomes a major center of artistic life in the Republic of Kazakhstan. For many years, its collection contains works of the masters of Western Europe, Russian, Soviet art, East countries and Kazakhstan fine arts.
The collection of the museum has more than 23,000 first-class exhibits, which are national heritage of the country. Pearls of national and world culture are represented in 14 rooms. Fullness and variety of collection of Kazakh fine and applied arts is the result of careful systematic work.
The collection of the State Museum after Kasteev is the largest archive of decorative and graphic works in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and it is considered as one of the finest collections in the CIS.
The collection of the museum contains: paintings by old masters, Old Russian art (icons), paintings of Kazakhstan, drawing, jewelry, leather, weaving, felting, tapestry, contemporary decorative arts-oriented collection and sculpture.
Museum staff constantly works on searching new items and updating the exposition. The museum regularly provides exhibitions, and organizes international conferences and seminars.