Kasteev Art Museum
The State Art Museum is the largest art gallery in the country and was first established in 1935. Reopened in late 2011 after an extensive refurb, visitors will find an alternating selection of pieces on display from a collection of more than 20,000 works, with a focus on local art. There’s an extensive collection of ancient and modern Kazakh art and a display of the applied arts the region is famous for. It’s also possible to discover the art of the museum’s namesake Abylkhan Kasteev in the gallery named after him. He was born into a family of poor nomads in 1904 but became a prolific artist under the Soviets and was the first artist to be awarded the title of National Artist of Kazakhstan. Other artists from across the former USSR who worked under the period of Soviet rule are also represented. Besides all of these, there’s Russian art from the 17th- to 20th-centuries, Western European art from the 16th- to 20th-centuries and some Oriental art – more than enough to occupy an afternoon. Tours and information are available in English.