Officially established in 1937 by decree of President Getúlio Vargas, the National Museum of Fine Arts has combined the occupation of the building with the National School of Fine Arts until 1976, when the EBA has been moved to the island of Fundão. In the same year, with the creation of the National Art Foundation (Funarte) was new share.
On May 24, 1973, the building of Avenida Rio Branco, 199, was listed by the Heritage Institute for National Artistic (IPHAN) and from 2003, the imposing building has housed in its entirety the MNBA.
Moving forward on the timeline, in 2009 the MNBA was incorporated by the Brazilian Institute of Museums (IBRAM), an autarchy linked to the Ministry of Culture. Today is the institution that has the largest and most important collection of Brazilian art of the nineteenth century, focusing a collection of seventy thousand items including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, objects, documents and books.
The Bicentennial Collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts originated from three sets of different works: paintings brought by Joaquim Lebreton, head of the French Artistic Mission, which arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1816; works owned or produced here by members of the Mission, among which stand out Nicolas-Antoine Taunay, Jean-Baptiste Debret, Grandjean de Montigny, Charles Pradier and brothers Ferrez; and parts Collection D. João VI, left by this in Brazil, to return to Portugal in 1821.
Walking through its galleries, visitors can glimpse, as in a few cultural centers of the country, the history of art in Brazil from its beginnings to contemporary times.
Occupying currently an area of 17,000 m2, the National Museum of Fine Arts / Ibram / Ministry of Culture constitutes a powerful radiating center of knowledge and dissemination of Brazilian art.