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Regional Art Museum

Across the road from the historical museum, the two-storey building with pastel green walls houses the Regional Art Museum named after Shaimardan Sariev. The displays are upstairs, in a well laid- out series of rooms benefiting from oil industry sponsorship. One room is devoted to paintings inspired by the historical art forms of western Kazakhstan: petroglyphs, underground mosques and standing stones.

Another features artworks by young local artists, drawing inspiration from the Saraichik archaeological site. There is a room showcasing the work of Shaimardan Sariev, an artist born near Guryev who came to prominence in the early 1960s, the brief period of 'thaw' in the Khrushchev era, when, in the company of other young artists in Almaty, he set about the task of creating a national school of painting. But the thaw failed to last, Sariev was expelled from the Union of Artists, and he died young. The paintings in this room are mostly portraits: chisel-cheeked stern faces painted in vivid colour. There are also a couple of rooms of graphics and watercolours, some Soviet paintings praising triumphs of labour, from railway building to the construction of apartment blocks, and large canvases of Kazakh heroes, such as a purplish portrayal of Makhambet and Isatay, contemplating the view.