In three bas-relief panels on the second floor of the Central State History Museum, there is a rather conventional collection of Soviet symbols. The first panel in the north wing of the building is really a triptych, with the first section representing the arts (a harp and a book), the second representing science (a rocketship), and the third representing agriculture (a hammer and sickle and grains of wheat). In the next separate panel, we see an infant with what looks like a mohawk haircut, reading a book beneath an apple tree, doves of peace flying above. The last panel shows two young girls, one with Caucasian figures, presumably Russian, playing a horn, and one with Asian figures, presumably Kazakh, playing a jaw harp. Behind them one can recognize Almaty's Hotel Kazakhstan with its distinctive crown.
As the artist Kurmash Kuttybaev explained, the reliefs were originally meant to go inside the Hotel Kazakhstan itself, but after a fire damaged the original installation site, Kuttybaev felt it would be a shame if the work was done in vain and had them placed inside the Central State Museum, then under construction. The artist explained that the original design called for a waving flag with a timeline of the historical development of Kazakhstan, from the revolution ( an image of the battleship Aurora) to the present day (the Hotel Kazakhstan) and forward to the communist utopia in space (blasting rockets). The reliefs of the revolution have not survived, nor has another portion of the composition that showed a Kazakh batyr, or warrior, with a bow and arrow - these can be seen only in archival photos provided by Kuttybaev.
Kuttybaev had arrived to Almaty after graduating art school in 1980 and quickly became a Union member and a worker at the Oner Art Combine. He completed several minor works before being offered the Hotel Kazakhstan project. It was a major order for a young artist, but Kuttybaev had the support of Yevgeniy Sidorkin, at that point one of Kazakhstan's most esteemed monumental artists. Kuttybaev made a scale model, or eskiz, out of molding clay, which was then used to make a plaster mold. Chamotte clay was then cast in the mold and fired in a furnace. Though Kuttybaev was based at the Oner combine, the biggest art production facility in Kazakhstan at the time, the material deficits of the 1990s meant that there was much difficulty in finding the equipment to produce such a project in ceramic. Work on the relief sculpture was started at a planning institute near the intersection of Gagarin street and Satpaev street, where there was a muffle furnace available for use. Work later moved to a workshop on Tashkentskaya and Saina, and later to a ceramics workshop in Issyk. The artist described lugging the heavy pieces from workshop to workshop, and being distraught when the artwork's home at the hotel was lost. The museum was better than the garbage bin, but with the panels installed incomplete and out of order, the artist was never quite satisfied with his first major work.