It was established in 1888.Collection and exhibitionsThe collection is made up of objects, folk art, costumes, crafts, sculptures, paintings and other art from Poland, Europe, Africa, Australia, Oceania and Latin and South America.The museum has a permanent exhibition, a library (around 26 000 volumes), a Photographic and Film Records Studio and a Central Repository for the Museum's Collections; i
t produces temporary exhibitions, research projects and publications.The Polish collection is composed of around 13500 exhibits in the permanent collection and over 1000 in the deposits.The African collection is the richest collection in the museum with over ten thousand objects mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa. The African collection is based on a donation by Wacław Korabiewicz which includes domestic and agricultural utensils, arms, costumes and clothing, jewelry, royal insignia, sculptures, masks and objects related to religious practices. In 1988 also Aleksandra and Cyprian Kosiński contributed to the museum's African collection with sculptures, masks and royal costumes of the Congolese tribes Bakuba, Bakongo, Chokwe. According to the museum, one of the most important objects of the African collection are helmet masks made by the East African Makonde tribe (Tanzania, Mozambique) which came from Wacław Korabiewicz's collection.The permanent exhibitions presented inside the museum are: The Ordinary – The Extraordinary. The Museum's 120th anniversary exhibition Celebration Time in Polish and European culture The Order of Things. The storeroom of Piotr B.