The Museum of Applied Arts is Hungary's national museum of decorative arts and design, with a collection of about 100.000 objects. It is the central institution in Hungary aimed at the preservation, research and dissemination of decorative arts. Special highlights in the collection include Art Nouveau, Islamic Art, the Esterházy Treasury and the collection of contemporary design.
Following the establishment of similar museums in London, Vienna and Berlin, and upon realizing the importance of handicrafts and industrial design, the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest was founded by the Hungarian Parliament in 1872. Right from the start, the new Museum started building its historical collection, while at the same time collecting contemporary objects. Pieces were actively bought at the World's Fairs, starting with the 1873 World's Fair in Vienna, for which 50.000 Forints were secured at the time of the foundation. The items purchased there, as well as others transferred from the Hungarian National Museum became foundation of the museum's collection. The building of the museum was built by 1896, designed by Ödön Lechner and Gyula Pártos. The building is one of the chief works of Hungarian Art Nouveau, and an internationally recognized landmark. The coloured dome adorned with Zsolnay ceramics and the open entrance hall with its wonderful ornaments still makes a warm invitation to the visitors.
Collections at the Museum include the Furniture Collection, the Collection of Metalwork, the Ceramics and Glass collection, and the Textile Collection.