Following the establishment of similar museums in London, Vienna and Berlin, and upon realizing the importance of handicrafts and industrial design, the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest was founded by the Hungarian Parliament in 1872.
From the start, the Museum has collected applied art works contemporary and historical, from Hungary and abroad. Its collections have come from several sources.
The core of the historical collection consists of antiques transferred from the Hungarian National Museum, while the contemporary collection was originally built up from purchases at world fairs (Vienna 1873, Paris 1878, Paris 1889) and gifts by companies (Herend Porcelain Manufactory, Zsolnay).
As the collections expanded, a building was erected to accommodate them. The opening of the Museum building on 25 October 1896, attended by the monarch, Francis Joseph, was the grand event marking the end of Hungary's Millennium celebrations.
The main building of the Museum of Applied Arts Budapest is closed due to renovations.
In the museum's Collection Database nearly 44 000 works of art are available for browsing online.