The Kaluga Regional Art Museum was organized in 1917. Its collection was based on artworks from the private collection of a physician N.I. Vasilyev (1832 - 1917). It was opened for visitors in summer of 1918. In the ensuing years the collection was substantially enriched with pictures, portraits, original and printed graphic works from nationalized manors. The most significant exhibits are icons of the 16th to 19th centuries, portraits of the first half of the 19th century by domestic artists and foreign artists who worked in Russia, samples of the West-European pictorial and graphic arts of the 16th to 19th centuries. There is a collection of Russian wood carving of the 16th to 19th centuries. Since 1969 the museum has been located in the town manor of well-known Kaluga merchants Bilibins owned by Chistokletovs since 1869. The manor was constructed in 1809 - 1810. The main house of the manor acquired the status of an object of cultural heritage of the federal significance. The Museum has branches: Tarusa and Ulyanovo picture galleries.
The Tarusa Picture Gallery. The Gallery collection is based on the collection of Russian and West-European pictorial, graphic, and decorative and applied arts of a Moscow agricultural scientist N.P. Rakitsky (1883 - 1975) who presented it to Tarusa known Russian masters including those whose life and activities are connected with Tarusa.
The Ulyanovo Picture Gallery. The Gallery was founded by an honored art worker A.V. Kiselyov, a landscape-painter, a native of Ulyanovo, who made his private collection the basis of the Gallery collection. Works of Russian masters of the 20th century including those from Kaluga are presented: I.A. Pavlishak, L.A. Klimentovskayaj, A.N. Konyashin, V.P. Lyubimov, E.A. Chernjahovskaya, B.V. Scherbakovaj. A distinctive feature of the Gallery collection is a carefully selected "Leniniana" - works of P.V. Vasilyev, N.N. Zhukov, V.A. Serov, V.T. Tsyplakov, F.Ya. Golubkov. There are unique K.I. Finogenov's front-line drawings from the well-known graphic series "Volga Stronghold" and "Defeated Berlin" stored in the State Tretyakov Gallery