The Nevzorov collection of paintings and sculpture in Semey ranks as Kazakhstan’s second best, after Almaty’s Kasteev museum. In terms of variety and interest, it isn’t far from taking the top spot.
The collection has a typical overview style common to fine arts museums in these parts. It starts with religious themes from European masters of Medieval times and works its way through Russian landscape and portrait painting. Turn of the century -ism painting is followed by Soviet Realism.
Luckily, there is plenty of space left for the last bit, painting and sculpture from the 80’s onwards. Many well-known artists from past and present are represented and there is a surprising amount of young Kazakh art. It is definitely worth 2 or 3 hours of your time. if you like painting.
Don’t forget to visit the gift shop! It is a trump card in disguise. At first sight, another shabby museum shop with second-rate art for sale, it actually holds real treasure.
Semey used to be a rich town, and interesting antiques from Soviet and Tsarist times continue to enter the gift shop. Impulse buyers are warned. In the jumble of watches, medals and jewelry, there are real treasures to be found.
The sales lady told us the Soviet camera section gets bought up completely every couple of months by visitors from China. Ceramics, glassware and trinkets whose use is unknown are waiting for your custom.