The creation of the gallery came from the idea of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah. The Perak State Government approved the construction of the gallery on 13 June 2001. The construction of the gallery commenced on 30 November 2001 and completed on 15 April 2003. The gallery was officially opened on 9 December 2003
The gallery building was originally built in 1898 and completed in 1903 to be used as the residence of Perak Sultan Idris Shah I.