The beginning of the collection and the foundation of the Museum are closely associated with M.V. Nesterov’s precious gift. Bearing in mind an idea of encouraging “art education of the fellow-citizens”, he presented his collection of Russian art dating the second half of the XIX to the beginning of the XX centuries (102 works) as a gift to his native city. The collection included painting and graphic works by I.Ye. Repin, I.I. Shishkin, N.A. Yaroshenko, V.D. Polenov, V.E. Makovsky, I.I. Levitan, K.A. Korovin, A.Ya. Golovin, A.N. Benois, N.K. Roerich and other outstanding artists. But 30 works (portraits, landscapes, and genre compositions) made by the donor himself are of a special value. At present as a result of the Museum’s activity the collection of M.V. Nesterov’s works consists of 109 pieces. Chronologically the collection embraces a period of 1878 to 1919, i.e. the time of formation and then consistent realization of the painter’s aesthetic and moral program, the essence of which concludes in man’s soul spiritual revival in conditions of living in a deserted place, i.e. alone with nature, in harmony with nature; and searches for the Russian national spiritual ideal.
The Museum’s permanent exposition includes unique exhibits: icons, church copper-founding plastic art of the XII–XIX centuries, church silver pieces of the XVIII–XIX centuries, Russian art of the XVIII – the beginning of the XX century, and West European art of the XVI–XIX centuries.
Visitors can observe best works of the Museum collection and various exhibitions as well as buy catalogues, albums, and booklets disclosing the Museum’s history and creative work of different artists.
The Museum has the exhibition hall “Izhad” (22 Kosmonavtov St., Ufa), where active exhibition and excursion activities are carried on.One of the priority-oriented directions in the Museum’s activities is promotion of scientific knowledge of classic and contemporary art in different towns and districts of Bashkortostan. With this purpose a number of branches of the Museum was established: A.E. Tyulkin Memorial House in Ufa (21 Volnovaya St.), Voskresenskoye Picture Gallery (68 Karl Marx St., Voskresenskoye, Meleuz District), Neftekamsk Picture Gallery “Miras” (89 Stroitelei St., Neftekamsk), Sterlitamak Picture Gallery (84 Kommunisticheskaya St., Sterlitamak).