The history of the Nizhny Novgorod state Art Museum covers more than a century. It was founded in 1896 as "The City Art and Historical Museum", which alongside with the pieces of art included a small collection of antiques from the formerly established "Petrovsky" museum.
Opening of a new, united and accessible museum was timed to the All-Russia Art and Industry Exhibition which was to be held in Nizhny Novgorod.
As opposed to the number of other provincial museums, based on somebody's particular private collection, the Nizhny Novgorod museum has been created by the efforts of many people. Among them - professor of historical painting N.A. Koshelev, an artist A.A. Karelin, an writer A.M. Gorky, members of the Academic Archival Committee, local merchants and entrepreneurs, representatives of general public of the city, amateurs of art, patrons of art from Nizhny Novgorod and Moscow.
Having been accumulated for the whole century, the museum is marked with a high artistic level and has its own image. Its basis is compiled of works of native masters and of the pieces are rightfully considered to be the classical ones