Exhibited along with other trasures in the Uffizi Gallery and moved to the Palazzo della Crocetta, the present day seat of the museum, in 1888 (the building was erected in 1620 by Giulio Parigi).
The main core of the collection focuses on etruscan civilisation thet interested in particular Cosimo the Eldest of the Medici family. But it was the Gran Duke Cosimo I who to put together the currently existing collection in 16th century, though these were later increased by his successors ( and in particular by Cardinal Leopoldo).
Downtime the collection was enriched with famous works like the Chimera of Arezzo, the Minerva of Arezzo and the Orator.
The bronze Chimera of Arezzo is one of the best known examples of the art of the Etruscans. It was found in Arezzo, an ancient Etruscan and Roman city in Tuscany, in 1553, during the construction of the fortifications on the outskirts and was quickly claimed for the collection of the Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I, who placed it publicly in the Palazzo Vecchio, and placed the smaller bronzes from the trove in his own studiolo at Palazzo Pitti, where "the Duke took great pleasure in cleaning them by himself, with some goldsmith's tools" Benvenuto Cellini reported in his autobiography.
The collection was then continued by the Lorraine family that added the extraordinary collection of Egyptian pieces beside adding new pieces to the Etruscan section,which was organised by series and studied by the scholars of the Lorraine court.
Additions continued also during the 19th century with importand workslike the Sarcophagus of the Amazons an the Larthia Seianti.
It was at this time that a new section of Etruscan Topography was created and that the Etruscan sculptures and small and large bronzes were added.
In addition to the above-mentioned works setting some time aside to visit the section dedicated to the lavish assortment of Etruscan jewels.
The Egyptian Museum, which is second only to the famous museum in Turin, takes up some of the rooms of the Archeological Museum.
The first group of Agyptian antiquities was put together in the 17th century to include also pieces that had been collected by the Medici, although it was significantly increased during the 18th century by Leopoldo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who purchased new collections and financed, together with Charles X, King of France, a scientific expedition to Egypt in the years 1828 and 1829.
The expedition was directed by Jean François Champollion, the famous scholar and interpreter of hieroglyphics and by Ippolito Rosellini from Pisa, who would soon become the father of Egyptian studies in Italy and a friend and disciple of Champollion. After the return of the expedition, the numerous objects collected during the expedition and during excavations of archeological sites or purchased by local merchants, were equally divided between Florence and the Louvre.
The Egyptian Museum of Florence was officially established in 1855. In 1880 the Piedmontese Egyptian scholar Ernesto Schiaparelli , who was to become the director of the Egyptian Museum of Turin, was assigned the task of transfering and organising the Egyptian antiquities in the present day location, which is also seat of the Archeological Museum. Schiapparelli suitably increased the collections of the Museum with objects found during his personal excavation campaigns and purchased in Egypt before his final transfer to Turin. The last group of works acquired by the Egyptian Museum of Florence includes pieces donated to the State by private contributors and scientific institutions.
Today the Museum exhibits over 14,000 pieces, displayed in nine rooms and two warehouses. The exhibition rooms have been totally renewed.
The old layout of Schiaparelli has now been replaced by the new one arranged, when possible, according to a chronological and topographic order. The collection comprises material that ranges from the prehistoric age down to the age of Copta, with several groups of steles, vases, amulets and bronze pieces of different ages.
The most remarkable pieces are some statues dating back to the age of Amenofi III, the chariot of the 18th dynasty, the pillar of the tomb of Sety I, the cup of Fayence with square mouth and the belongings of the wet nurse of the daughter of Pharao Taharqa, the woman portrait of Fayum, the collection of fabrics belonging to the Copt Age and an important group of chalk moulds dating back to the end of the 19th.
The museum now has a permanent staff including two professional egyptologists.