List of museums from the 18th century

While some of the oldest public museums in the world opened in Italy during the Renaissance, the majority of these significant museums in the world opened during the 18th century:

  • The Capitoline Museums, the oldest public collection of art in the world, began in 1471 when Pope Sixtus IV donated a group of important ancient sculptures to the people of Rome.
  • The Vatican Museums, the second oldest museum in the world, traces its origins to the public displayed sculptural collection begun in 1506 by Pope Julius II.
  • Ambras Castle (Schloss Ambras Innsbruck), Austria, is not the oldest art collection, but it is the earliest collection still to be found in that very building created especially for its museum purpose (1572–1583, Supplement 1589): Ambras Castle is the oldest museum in the world in several respects: the oldest pair of original building and initial collections; the oldest preserved collection in the history of museum according to a systematic concept; it houses – beside the Armouries – the only Renaissance Kunstkammer of its kind to have been preserved at its original location. Verifiably called a ‘museum’ as early as c.1580.
The Lower Castle of Ambras Castle, Innsbruck was one of the earliest buildings explicitly intended for use as a museum and still exists today in its proper function, showing the original collections.


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  4. ^ "Une très ancienne collection" (in French). Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
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  9. ^ "Visit the Museum". American Philosophical Society.
  10. ^ "Charleston Museum". Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  11. ^ Hansen, Liane (13 July 2008). "Philadelphia Museum Shaped Early American Culture". NPR.