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History of the Collections

The collection of the Museum of America includes more than 25,000 objects. The museum houses pre-Columbian, ethnographic and colonial items.

The oldest collections belong to the Royal Cabinet of Natural History founded in the mid eighteenth century. In 1771 king Carlos III created a new cabinet which incorporated pieces from the first archaeological excavations carried out in America, and collected ethnographic objects in scientific expeditions.

Salto de línea In 1868 these collections passed to the newly founded National Archaeological Museum. From that moment purchases and donations helped to increase these American collections.

Salto de línea In 1941 the Museum of America was founded and in the second half of the twentieth century significantly increased its collections of colonial art, as well as the acquisition of pre-Columbian and ethnographic materials. In 1965 the Museum was inaugurated on it’s current venue. Now our days, the Museum keeps growing on its collections, hosting and presenting together pre-Columbian, ethnographic and colonial ítems.

Salto de línea Therefore, the collections kept in the Museum of America, are constituted by the old collections of American Archaeology and Ethnography of the National Archaeological Museum that previously belonged to the Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as donations, deposits and purchases of new works. The Museum's thematic covers an extended period that goes from American prehistory to the present, with special emphasis on pre-Columbian archeology, ethnography and colonial art.Salto de línea


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