Chelyabinsk Picture Gallery was opened in 1940 the 6th of June in the building of former church of Alexander Nevsky on Aloye Pole in accordance with the decision of Executive Committee of Chelyabinsk Regional Council. It was named Chelyabinsk State Picture Gallery.
The founder of the museum and its first director was Leonid Petrovich Klevensky (1894-1977), a journalist, an art critic, who in 1938 headed travelling exhibition "the South Ural in painting" came from the exhibition The "Ural-Kuzbass in painting". Klevensky thought over the concept of museum for long years. His ideas were not forgot despite all the difficulties the country and museum have had, but are being kept on developing.
After the beginning of the Great Patriotic war in 1941, the 25th of June Chelyabinsk Picture Gallery was closed and opened again in 1952 in the building in which it is placed nowadays. G.N.Lapin (1895-1970) became director and main keeper of the museum. G.I.Panteleyeva , an oldest research worker of the museum, was the main keeper of the museum from 1970 to 1991.
The building of the Picture Gallery presents a wonderful monument of architecture of regional modern. It was built on the design of architect A.A.Fyodorov in 1912-1913 as a Trade House of brothers Yakushev in the former main street of the city Sibirskaya The exposition area of the museum is about 600 sk. meters.