"Altynemel" Memorial Museum of Sh.Ualikhanov was opened in 1985, to the 150th anniversary of Shokan Ualikhanov - descendant of Abylay Khan, outstanding Kazakh researcher, ethnographer and brave traveler. The museum is located in the Shokan village, Kerbulak district, Almaty region.
Architects such as S.Rustambekov, B.Ibraev and A.Seydalin designed a unique building of the museum. Pink limestone facade shows all Kazakh national traditions on architecture of the building.
The whole appearance of the building is imbued distinctive symbols of the national epic and reflects traditions of Kazakh memorial structures such as Mazar with clearly distinguished corner elements, which are related to ancient beliefs of Kazakhs from the four corners of the universe. All corners of the building are different-sized; the beam descends to the center, passing into the "unit of happiness", woven from colored cords. According to legends, all levels are connected in the center of the world. Mythical "seven layers of the earth" corresponds to the terraced decision of the museum floor, which surround in a way to make the visitor gradually climbed up the hill in a spiral around a central axis.
The inner decoration of the museum resembles a yurt - the traditional portable home of nomadic herders. Here is used coloristic composition of aesthetic culture of Kazakhs. The walls was red, because it was the traditional color of homes, black and red floor corresponds with the underworld notion. White alabaster plasters of ceiling that hover at different heights reflect the ancient technique decoration of buildings. The lighting system, which gives a smooth ceiling light at any position of the sun, promotes the use of the exhibit for entire space of the room. Mangyshlak limestone-soft and supple pink stone used on decoration of the facade of the building.
The area, which was occupied by the exposure, is 454 square meters. Materials of museums and archives of Moscow, Leningrad, Omsk, Frunze and Almaty were used on creation.
All diverse aspects of the great Kazakh scientist and educator, anthropologist, historian, geographer, folklorist were reflected in the halls of the memorial complex.
The exposition of the museum consists of several sections, which connected with the life and work of Shokan Ualikhanov. Here are materials, paints a picture of the political, social and cultural life of the early XIX century that influenced to formation of Shokan's personality. There are materials about study years at the Omsk Cadet Corps, beginning of performance and familiarity with representatives of the Russian intelligentsia, materials about the Petersburg period, friendships and business relationships with the scientific and literary people of Russia. Scientific heritage of Shokan Ualikhanov left a deep impression in history, ethnography, geography of Central, Central Asia, southern Siberia and Kazakhstan. Separate section is devoted to the image of Shokan Ualikhanov in literature, painting and cinema.
Visiting exposition begins with a granite bust of Sh. Ualikhanov, which was done by folk artist of Kazakhstan H.Nauryzbaev. Stone sculptures were installed at the entrance of the museum.
Personal items of Shokan - epaulettes, weapons, saddle, compiled maps and charts, manuscripts, graphics and paintings that made during his traveling and expeditions, collections of folk arts and crafts – are presented in the museum. Musical Instruments show Ualikhanov’s interest and love to Kazakh traditions and songs. National clothes of Kirghiz, Uighur, Chinese, and jewelry, minerals and traveling collection of Ualikhanov show diverse research interests of the scientist.
Layouts of Aiganym grandmother’s manor is in Syrymbet, where he spent his childhood. There is the original tapestry on funeral facilities of his tomb, which was woven by modern masters and it reproduces the famous route of scientist’s traveling. It organically suits with exhibits of that time. The exposition presents editions of Ualikhanov’s works - lifetime and posthumous.
The reconstruction works of the memorial complex were done in 2003, which lasted for more than two years. The museum building was completely renovated, and replaced networks and communications. After work, the unique look of the museum was preserved as how Rustem Seidalin, Beck Ibraev and Serik Rustambeyov created.
During the reconstruction was changes on decoration of the exposition. Materials from the State Hermitage Museum and the State Museum of National Ethnography of the USSR supplemented it. Most of new exhibits were received as a gift from the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan, the National Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and descendants of Shokan Ualikhanov.
Kazakh society of protection of historical and cultural monuments gave some exhibits, whose experts helped during creation of the exhibition.