The Museum is housed in a Baroque palace that in the 17th and18th century belonged to the Califfi counts. It was founded in 1954 by a group of artists from Rovinj with the intention of collecting and exhibiting works of art. The first director of the Museum was the artist Zora Matia. The wishes of its founders have influenced both its content and activities to the present day. The Museum has two public functions – it serves as a town gallery and as a place where its rich bank of works of art is permanently exhibited. During its 50 year long existence, many rich and valuable art collections have been created – like those of contemporary art (about 1500), old masters, ethnology, a library and most recently a collection of archaeological finds. Because of lack of adequate exhibiting space and numerous gallery activities, today only a smaller part of the Museum’s collections can be displayed.