Located between the Art Walk and Retiro, this museum – created in 1912 - was intended to be a place for the education of artisans, craftsmen, artists and connoisseurs of the industrial arts, following the inspiration of other museums of the same type, such as the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum) in London, and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris.
Today its work focuses on research and, although most of the exhibits are Spanish, there are also a considerable number of displays from other countries, reflecting the influence of artistic developments abroad and the amount of everyday and luxury objects imported over the centuries.
The oriental art collection is especially important: it was initiated by King Carlos III, who assembled the core of today’s collection for the Royal Cabinet of Natural History. The strongest area is the decorative oriental art, including crockery (ceramics and porcelain), glassware, furniture, textiles, gold and silverware, metal work, ivory, leatherwork, nativities, artwork on paper, and some painting and sculpture.
Since the end of 2015 the Museum has had an access ramp to the building located on Calle Montalbán. To use this ramp, you must notify the Museum staff in advance.
You can access the different floors via the lift. Owing to the size of the lift, you must use the wheelchair provided by the Museum, available on request.