The Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb, Croatia was established in 1880, by the initiative of the Arts Society and its former President Izidor Kršnjavi. Drawing on the theoretical precepts of the Arts and Crafts movement and the intellectual postulates of Gottfried Semper, the museum was devised with the aim of creating a collection of models for master craftsmen and artist to reinvigorate the production of everyday use items. The strategy of the museum's activity was focused on preservation of traditional crafts, as well as creation of a new middle class aesthetic culture. Therefore, in 1882 the Crafts School (today School of Applied Arts and Design) was founded along the museum. The building, constructed in 1888 by Hermann Bollé, is one of the first purpose-built edifices devised to merge the functions of the museum and the school. Stylistically, the building is a grand Historicist palace in the spirit of the German Renaissance.
The permanent display of the Museum of Arts and Crafts in Zagreb extends over three floors at more than 2000 m² of museum space and includes about 3000 exhibits. The displayed objects illustrate the shift of stylistic periods from Gothic to graphic and product design of the period from 1950s. The objects are part of museum's diverse collections of ceramics, clocks and watches, glass, graphic design, ivory, furniture, metal, musical instruments, painted leather, paintings, photography, bookbinding, product design, sculptures, textiles, fashion accessories and varia. The historical review of artistic styles is complemented with independent thematic units, such as religious painting, sculpture and metal, devotionalia, and Judaica.