The building that houses the museum was originally constructed by the Lisbon lawyer Augusto Vítor dos Santos, in 1896. The construction was carried out by the contractor Manuel Correia Júnior. The building remained in the Santos family’s possession until 1921, when it was sold to Eduardo Guedes de Sousa.
Two years later, the new owner added two additional upper floors based on a design by the architect Carlos Rebelo de Andrade.
In 1927, the house was sold to the Vatican State to establish the Papal (Apostolic) Nunciature, which was represented in Portugal by Archbishop Pedro Ciriaci.
In 1943, the building was acquired by António Medeiros e Almeida, who transformed it into his residence after carrying out extensive remodeling work.
In the early 1970’s, when Medeiros e Almeida decided to leave behind a House-Museum to his country, he dismantled the garden to make way for a new wing to house a portion of his decorative arts collection.
Subsequently, the couple moved to the next-door house they had meanwhile acquired, where they resided until the end of their lives.