The history of the A. Kasteyev State Museum of Arts began in 1935, when the former Government of Kazakhstan issued a decree as of September 23 about organizing the Kazakh State Art Gallery. Special attention in this decree was paid to the 15th Anniversary of Kazakh Socialist Soviet Republic Art Exhibition. Many art works of this exhibition were purchased by museum and became the original base of our collection.
In 1965 the Government of Kazakhstan took a decision to provide the Gallery with its own buidling. Museum's building was designed by Kazakhstan architects Elsa Kuznetsova, Olga Naumova and Boris Novikov. In 1976 the Kazakh Art Gallery was renamed into the State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Republican Museum of Applied Art also joined the Museum. New museum's building was opened for visitors on September 16, 1976. In January 1984 the Museum was named after Abylkhan Kasteyev, People Artist of Kazakhstan (1904-1973).
Currently, the A. Kasteyev State Museum of Arts of the Republic of Kazakhstan is the largest art museum and the country's leading research, cultural and educational fine arts center. Museum’s rich, diverse, precious collection gives a lively idea of the artistic culture of Kazakhstan, Europe and Asia, old masters and contemporary art artists. It includes more than 25000 art objects. Several scientific research and other offices are working in the museum: Office of Kazakhstan Visual Art, Office of Kazakhstan Decorative and Applied Art, Office of Foreign Classical Art, Office of Foreign Modern Art, Scientific Restoration Office, Office of the Exhibitions and Expositions Management, Guided Tours Office, Collection Management and Storage Office, Information and Publication Office, and Office of Management and Foreign Relations.
Today, the museum becomes the center of attraction of the new cultural initiatives. Broad and diverse museum's contacts allow, along with a permanent exhibition, to organize regularly the solo exhibitions of artists of Kazakhstan, as well as foreign artists and exhibitions of private collections, which cause huge interest of the lovers of fine arts (more than 80 exhibitions per year).
One of the main objectives of the museum is to promote and popularize the museum treasures, attracting a larger number of visitors, to a greater extent the needs of the population to become familiar with the phenomena of the world especially popular artistic life.
Museum introduces many types of activities: events to increase the number of the different age visitors and social groups, thematic guided tours to promote a high artistic level of the museum's collection; a cycle of lectures about Kazakhstan's and World art history for 4-5 months.
In addition, A. Kasteyev Museum is leading institution of the research work in restoration. Many educational activities like national and international scientific conferences, seminars and round tables are organized every year. Museum's scientific researchers present their papers at the both national and international conferences. They also publish monographs and articles based on their fundamental studies.
Museum's events and activities have an intensive coverage in media outlests like newpapers, magazines, sites and TV.
To increase the value of the museum as an important national research center for the study of fine and decorative arts is continuing task for museum for future.