The Museum of Applied Art was founded in 1950. It belongs to the category of specialized museums. The main activity of The Museum of Applied Art is systematic collecting, protecting, studying, exhibiting and publishing works of applied art. Apart from the works of art referring to applied arts of Serbian people, related material from other European countries and the world, which came to our country through cultural and economic relations, is also collected in the Museum.

During the very first year of its existence, the Museum purchased an exceptionally valuable collection of various artistically treated objects, collected over thirty years by artist Ljuba Ivanovic. The collection comprises of more than 3,000 artifacts, among which jewellery, old manuscripts and printed books, objects carved in wood, horn and mother-of-pearl, woodcut and painted icons, etc., stand out for their historic and artistic value. The oldest artifacts in The Museum of Applied Art date from IV century BC, and belong to the coin collection (coins from ancient Greece) in the Metalwork Department, while the collections in the Department for contemporary applied arts contain objects of the most recent artistic production. Thus, the Museum's collections reflect the development of objects of applied art in a 2,400 years' span. Nowadays, the Museum disposes around 37,000 expertly treated objects of applied art, among them works of art of outstanding artistic and cultural value.

The Museum is engaged in organizing exhibitions, as well as in publishing activities. The traditional cultural and artistic events of the Museum include Salon of Architecture, Children's Salon of Applied Art, Salon of Contemporary Applied Art, and Triennial of Ceramics. Comprehensive Study exhibition, presenting applied art in Serbia up to the moment, is opened on 6 November, the Museum's anniversary.

The Museum of Applied Art is competent for all objects of applied art at the whole territory of Republic of Serbia.

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The Museum of Applied Art is located in the very heart of Belgrade, in Toplicin venac, 18 Vuka Karadzica street, in the building which was known as Celebonovic Palace, after the name of Jakov Celebonovic Ph.D., lawyer. Due to his reputation in social life of Belgrade between two wars and the fact that he was the president of Jewish community, the Palace itself used to be the meeting place of renowned people of the period.

Jakov and Johana Celebonovic had six children, among whom Marko and Aleksa have a distinguished place in Serbian culture and arts. Marko Celebonovic is one of the most significant artists in XX century, while Aleksa Celebonovic was a well-known architect, university professor and art critic.

The building was erected in the period between 1927 and 1929, by renowned architects Stevan Belic (design), Nikola Krasnov (facade), and Neregar (interior decoration). It was erected as a two-floor palace in the academic style, with a representative gate with railing made of wrought iron. Originally it was intended to be rented: the Spanish embassy, lawyers' offices, and prestigious fashion salons were located in it. Although the building has been redecorated several times meanwhile, it has maintained the spirit of the time when it was first constructed.

After World War II, Serbian Ministry of Construction occupied the building.