The  Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts is the largest art museum in the Urals. The Museum was founded in 1936, but its collection dates back to the last quarter of the 19th century and is connected with the activity of Ural Natural History Society. Ural Natural History Society immensely helped to enlarge the collection of Sverdlovsk Regional Museum of Local Lore. Its art department was later transformed into Sverdlovsk Art Gallery (Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts since 1988). At different times the museum collection has been supplemented with the gifts of The State Hermitage Museum, The State Tretyakov Gallery, The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, and arrivals from the State Museum Fund, Moscow purchasing commissions, art collectors, and artists themselves.

During World War II treasures of the State Hermitage Museum evacuated from Saint Petersburg reposed in one of the buildings of the Museum (Vainer street, 11). The Hermitage staff members greatly influenced the process of the Museum collection formation, its scholarly research, and cultural life.

The Museum research activity flourished after Boris Vasilievich Pavlovsky’s appointment. The Kasli Iron Pavilion was restored and reopened in 1958 due to his involvement. During 1960s-80s a number of landmark projects were launched by the museum staff including one of the first in Russia “Portraits of Unrevealed” exhibition.

By the mid-80s museum holdings had expanded so much that a demand for more room to store and display works of art arose. For this reason a part of the collection was transferred to the renovated building of the former hospital which had belonged to Ekaterinburg ironworks (Voevodin street, 5). The Kasli Iron Pavilion was disassembled, transported to the new place, and restored again.

In 1988 Sverdlovsk Art Gallery was granted the status of ‘the museum of fine arts’. Newly formed departments of Russian Painting, Decorative and Applied Arts, Russian Art of the 20th century began to pick up their collections. It was the time of the most vigorous scholarly and publishing activity. The Museum developed a reputation and established contacts with Russian and foreign scholarly and museum venues.

In 2005 the Virtual Branch of the Russian Museum was opened in the Museum. The Virtual Branch is an information and education centre created on the basis of scholarly, educational, and methodological elaborations by leading specialists of the Russian Museum.

In 2008 the Regional Centre of Museum Pedagogics and Youth’s Creative Development was set up in cooperation with the Russian Centre of Museum Pedagogics and Children’s Creativity (the subdivision of the Russian Museum). Ones of the Centre’s priorities are formation of the interconnection between the Museum and schools and realization of cooperative projects and programmes.

The largest Ural art project – International Mezzotint Festival – has taken place at the Museum since 2011. Artists from more than 40 countries come to Ekaterinburg every two years.

In September 2014 Mikhail Piotrovsky, the Director of the Hermitage Museum, Yevgeny Kuivashev, the Governor of the Sverdlovsk Region, and Alexander Yakob, the Head of the Ekaterinburg Administration, signed an agreement on founding of the cultural and educational centre ‘Hermitage-Ural’.

In 2015 a famous collector and the Mayor of the city Yevgeny Roizman donated his naïve art collection to the Museum. It acted as a catalyst for formation of new Naïve Art Department. The new building (Rosa Luxemburg street, 18) is due to be presented at the end of 2017.

Nowadays Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts is a large-scale cultural and collecting centre. It is also a place of exhibitions, research, and education.