After four years of work on the organisation of the exhibition, it was opened by their Royal Majesties, the King and Queen of Spain, on April 18th 1925, and from the very opening speech the Count of Romanones put forward the idea of converting the temporary exhibition into a permanent Costume Museum.
1927-1934: Museo del Traje Regional e Histórico
With the close of the exhibition, a Board of Patrons of the Museo del Traje Regional e Histórico was created, to be responsible for the collection and create the museum. In 1928, it moved to the old Hospice located on calle Fuencarral, sharing the space with the Museo Municipal; and in 1930, it moved to Palacio de Godoy, located in Plaza de la Marina Española but in 1934 its collections went on to form part of the collections of the Museo del Pueblo Español.
1934-1993: Museo del Pueblo Español
The initial collection of the Museo del Pueblo Español was made up of the collections of the first Museo del Traje, those of the Seminario de Etnografía y Artes Populares of the Escuela Superior de Magisterio, in addition to extensive series of domestic objects and work tools that the Regional Patrons acquired between 1934 and 1936.
It finally opened its doors to the public (in the building of the current Senate headquarters) in autumn of 1971, but only briefly, as it was closed in the summer of 1973 and stored in the former Faculty of Medicine of San Carlos, located on calle Atocha until 1987, when it was transferred to the current Museo del Traje building, former site of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo.
1993-2004: Museo Nacional de Antropología
In 1993, the Museo del Pueblo Español and Museo Nacional de Etnología were merged into just one institution: the Museo Nacional de Antropología. Nonetheless, both institutions continued to function independently, without joining forces or their limited resources, and the Spanish collections were still not exhibited to the public in spite of the numerous projects proposed.
Finally, the decision was made to promote the public presence of those old collections of costumes, from a more modern perspective, and in 2004 the Museo del Traje. Centro de Investigación del Patrimonio Etnológico was created.
2004: Museo del Traje CIPE
Almost eighty years after the creation of the Museo del Traje Regional e Histórico, the Museo del Traje resurged again bearing in mind the unquestionable wealth of this part of the collections. Incorporating the numerous collections inherited from the natural growth of the Museo del Pueblo Español, the Museum added a subheading to its name: Centro de Investigación del Patrimonio Etnológico, in reference to the ethnographic heritage and its will to continue and integrate collections.
The building that houses the Museo’s collections was built between 1971 and 1973, and inaugurated in 1975 as the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo. The architects, Jaime López de Asiain and Ángel Díaz Domínguez, followed the specifications of the Museum Architecture Congress of 1968 in its design, and the project obtained the National Architecture Award in 1969. Conceived as a museum right from the outset, the building is perfectly aligned with its function with its multi-purpose rooms, ease of circulation and the cleanness and flexibility of its design.
In 2004, some of its services and installations were updated and the original ground floor structure, open to the outside, was restored, recreating its relationship with the surrounding gardens and its exceptional views.