The Museum of Greek Folk Art was founded in 1918 by the poet Georgios Drosinis, the archaeologist G. Kourouniotis and a group of Athenian intellectuals under the name "Museum of Greek Handicrafts"
In 1923 its name was changed to "National Museum of Decorative Arts".
It was given its present name in 1959. Until 1973 the Museum was housed in the Tzistaraki Mosque in Monastiraki Square.
Permanent exhibition and main functions were then transferred to the building at Kydathinaion 17 in Plaka.