The Museo de América (Museum of the Americas) was founded in 1941. The oldest collections belong to the Royal Cabinet of Natural History set up in the mid-18th century with finds from early archaelogical excavations and ethnografic objects collected on scientific expeditions and voyages of discovery. These collections were handed over 1868 to the newlyfounded Museo Arqueológico Nacional (National Museum of Archaeology) and were included in its Ethnografic section. Since then, and throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, purchases and donations were made, including outstanding pre-Hispanic collections from different countries in America. From the 1940s onwards an important collection of colonial art was built up.
The Museum brings together extensive collections which come from the different cultures of the American continent. This allows us to admire unique items and also to appreciate the capacity of the American peoples to develop different vital strategies, manifested here in different symbolic universes, often charged with a strong mestizo element.