The Chelyabinsk State Museum of Fine Arts is the only classical art museum in the Southern Urals.
The mission, goals and objectives of the museum are to identify, preserve, study and popularize the artistic heritage of our region and country.
The museum's collection contains more than 18,500 objects reflecting the development of regional, Russian, Western European, and oriental art.
The date of birth of the museum is considered to be June 6, 1940, when the Chelyabinsk City Art Gallery opened in the building of the Alexander Nevsky Church on the Scarlet Field. In 1940, the gallery received 106 paintings and drawings from the State Russian Museum. The transferred objects, as well as works from the exhibition "The Southern Urals in Painting", which took place in 1936-1939, representing famous metropolitan and local masters, formed the basis of the museum collection. L.P.Klevensky (1894-1977) became the founder and the first director of the museum. A significant contribution to the development of the museum was made by its director in the 1950s, G.N.Lapin (1895-1970). It was during these years that the museum's collection was housed in a historic building – an object of cultural heritage of federal significance - the Yaushev Brothers Passage. The initiator of the organization of the second museum site as a branch of the Art Gallery (since 1985 - the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts of the Urals, since 2005 - the halls of the Art Museum) was K.N.Sidorov, head of the Department of Culture (from 1971 to 1988, from 1987 to 2005 director of the Chelyabinsk Regional Art Gallery galleries). The museum acquired its modern administrative status in 2005, when two museums were united - the Chelyabinsk Regional Art Gallery and the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts of the Urals. S.O.Tkachenko became the director of the established museum.
The museum's collection includes world-class masterpieces, including works by D.G.Levitsky, I.I.Shishkin, I.K. Aivazovsky, I.K.Kramskoy, I.I.Levitan. The collection of ancient Russian art of the XVI-XIX centuries is represented by excellent examples of iconography of various schools, including the Ural icon, as well as a selection of copper-cast plastics, handwritten and old-printed books.
The most complete and representative is the collection of Ural art. Along with the works of Chelyabinsk artists, a worthy place in it is occupied by the works of Kaslin and Kusinsky masters of cast iron casting, products of Zlatoust masters of metal engraving, works of stone-cutting art.
Every year, the museum hosts more than 25 exhibitions, among which exhibitions from leading Russian museums occupy a significant place. During the period 2005-2022, exhibitions were held from the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, the Central Naval Museum, the State Museum of the History of Religion, the Central Museum of Ancient Russian Culture and Art.Andrey Rublev and a number of others.
The museum hosts excursions on stationary and temporary expositions, lectures, cycle classes for schoolchildren adapted to various age categories, and the school curriculum. Thematic children's drawing contests and master classes have become an important addition to museum and pedagogical activities. Traditional musical, poetic, and theatrical evenings in the halls of the museum are also popular. About 50,000 South Ural residents and visitors to the city attend exhibitions and museum events.
The museum staff carries out significant research work. Scientific articles and museum publications prepared by G.S.Trifonova, G.I.Panteleeva, Y.L.Alferova, S.M.Shabalin, S.A.Shlyapnikova, N.A.Kozlova, N.A.Makhnovskaya and others are the basis and incentive for the development of the museum itself and the artistic culture of the region.