Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
1613
Italy
The Borghese Gallery in Rome is the Italian state
museum housed in the Villa Borghese. The villa
ws built from 1613 to 1615 for Cardinal Scipione
Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V and their
collections of painting and sculpture from the
nucleus of the museum.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1753
UK
The British Museum in London is the national
museum of archaeology and antiquities, which
also houses the national library of manuscripts
and printed books. It was established by Act of
Parliament in 1753 when the government
purchased the private collection of the physician
and naturalist Sir Hans Sloane consisting of
'books, manuscripts, prints, drawings, pictures,
medals, coins, seals, cameos and natural
curiosities.'
Oxford Dictionary of Art
05 Apr 1753
UK
British Museum formed. It opened in 1759.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1761
Italy
Monsignor Mario Guarnacci bequeathed his
collection of Etruscan artefacts to the town of
Volterra in the hills of Tuscany, Italy. Most of the
artifacts were dug from local tombs and are now
displayed in chronological order in a museum.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1765
US
James Smithson (d.1829), English scientist, was
born. He bequeathed his entire estate to the
United States to found an establishment for the
increase and diffusion of knowledge, to be
named the Smithsonian Institution. Smithson had
the mineral smithsonite (carbonate of zinc)
named for him. Alexander Graham Bell, scientist
and inventor, escorted the remains of James
Smithson, founder of the Smithsonian Institution,
to the United States in 1904 for interment in the
original Smithsonian building.
http://timelines.ws May 2011
1818
Spain
The Prado Museum is founded in Madrid.
Beckett, Story, P. 483
1870
Scandinavia
Out of the great international exhibitions of the
nineteenth century arose a new sort of museum
dedicated to the display and continued visibility
of folk culture. This institution, generally referred
to as the 'folk museum' originated in Scandinavia
between 1870 and 1905. As ethnographic
collections of folk costumes, furniture, and tools
from rural districts, the Scandinavian folk
mseums were founded in order to preserve a
concentrated, frozen, tableaulike image of
traditonal culture at the very moment that culture
seemed most threatened by the changing
conditions called modernity.
Sandberg, Effigy and Narrative, in Cinema
and the Invention of Modern Life, P. 320
1870
US
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
holds the most comprehensive collection of art in
the USA and one of the greatest in the world. It
was founded in 1870 and the present building by
Central Park was opened in 1880.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1877
Nethelands
The Rijksmuseum is built in Amsterdam.
Beckett, Story, P.
1882
France
When the Musee Grevin opened in 1882 on the
Boulevard Montmartre, in the heart of 'modern'
Paris, a newspaper cartoon linked the wax
museum to the already popular Morgue.
Schwartz, Cinematic spectatorship, in
Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, P.
304
04 May 1887
Costa Rica
On May 4 1887 with Mr. Bernardo Soto as
President of the Republic the National Museum
was created with the intention to provide the
country with a public establishment to deposit,
classify, and study natural and artistic products.
http://www.museocostarica.go.cr/en_en/histo
ria-del-museo/historia-del-museo.html?
Itemid=56 July 2011
1918
Russia
36 museums are created in three years.
Blistène, History, P. 87
1929
US
The Museum of Modern Art in New York was
privately founded in 1929 by a group of
collectors. This museum holds the world's pre-
eminent collection of art from the late 19th century
to the present.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
1942
US
Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979) opens the
gallery Art of This Century in New York.
Romanian-Austrian architect Frederick Kiesler
(1890–1965) designed the interiors that were
intended to complement the Surrealist and
abstract art on display.
http://eartfair.com/blog/timeline-of-art-history-
united-states-canada August 2010
1947
Canada
The Canadian Museums Association was
established by a small group of people in
Quebec City in 1947. There were 161 museums
in Canada in 1951; by 1972 there were 838
museums, galleries and related institutions.
http://www.museums.ca/Newsroom/Media_K
it/?n=13-115 December 2010
1947
UK
The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London was
founded by Roland Penrose and Herbert Read in
1947 to encourage new developments in the arts
and cater for some of the functions fulfilled by the
Museum of Modern Art in New York, organizing
exhibitions, lectures, films, and so on.
Oxford Dictionary of Art
30 Dec 1969
US
Boston Museum of Fine Arts acquires a major
collection of East Mediterranean gold objects.
Nelson and Parker, The Sixties
23 Feb 1982
US
It is reported that New York's Metropolitan
Museum of Art in late 1981, decided not to
exhibit a proposed archaeological show from
Israel because it contained material from the
occupied West Bank.
Meltzer and Aronson, The Eighties
01 Mar 1982
US
The J. Paul Getty Museum near Los Angeles
becomes the richest museum in the nation and
perhaps the world when $1.1 billion of the estate
of the late J. Paul Getty is transferred to the
museum under his will.
Meltzer and Aronson, The Eighties
02 May 1995
US
Martin Harwit, the director of the Smithsonian
Institution's National Air and Space Museum,
resigns due to 'continuing controversy and
divisiveness' over a planned exhibit of the Enola
Gay.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 733
01 Sep 1995
US
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in
Cleveland, Ohio, is inaugurated in a ribbon-
cutting ceremony attended by 50,000 people.
Avasthi, Nineties, P. 773
2008
Austria
Federal museums recorded a total of 4.29 million
visits in 2008, equating to a 13.2 percent
increase in the number of visitors over the
previous year. However this plus can be ascribed
primarily to the performance of Albertina and
Belvedere. In the previous year there was a 5.3
percent decrease in visitors to provincial
museums which recorded a total of 1.98 million
visits.
http://www.statistik.at/web_en/statistics/educ
ation_culture/culture/index.html December
2010
15 Apr 2010
Canada
The federal government will provide four national
museums with $15 million in extra operating
funds, Heritage Minister James Moore
announced Thursday. "We want to ensure that
Canadians and visitors to Canada have access
to our rich diverse and fascinating heritage and
culture," he said at a news conference. All the
museums receiving funding are located in the
National Capital Region. The Canadian Museum
of Civilization will receive an additional $6.3
million; the National Gallery of Canada will
receive $2 million; the Canadian Museum of
Nature, which will have its grand re-opening on
May 22, will receive $3 million; and the Canada
Science and Technology Museum Corporation
will receive $3.7 million.
http://www.torontosun.com/news/canada/201
0/04/15/13595666-qmi.html December 2010
02 Jun 2010
Canada
On June 2nd, the Government of Canada has
introduced Bill C-32, a massive series of
amendments to bring the 80 year old Copyright
Act into the 21st century. Heritage Minister
James Moore and Industry Minister Tony
Clement held a private briefing and
announcement in Montreal, which John McAvity,
CMA's executive director, was invited to attend.
While most of the new bill focuses on various
entertainment provisions such as downloading
multimedia, there are some key provisions for the
museums and educational sectors, which are
significant. Museums as educational institutions,
find themselves on both sides of the copyright
issue as we are both copyright owners and
copyright users. In essence, copyright legislation
is about balance between giving copyright
owners powerful rights versus the legitimate civil
beneficial uses of such materials.
http://www.museums.ca/Newsroom/News_rel
eases/?n=13-112-
206&pressreleasesId=261 December 2010
2011
South Africa
More than 300 of the approximately 1,000
museums in Africa are in South Africa. The
Department of Arts and Culture subsidises most
museums, which are otherwise autonomous. The
department pays an annual subsidy to 13
national museums, ensuring the preservation of
artefacts and collections that are important to all
South Africans.
http://www.africa.com/guide_to_museums/so
uth_africa_museums May 2011
Museums Timeline
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