The Museo de Arte Popular opened in March 2006. Its purpose is to serve as a reference for Mexican crafts as well as promoting them through workshops, and other events to both Mexico and foreign tourism. and dignify Mexican crafts though restoration of older works and the promotion of their creation both inside and outside the museum itself.
The permanent collection contains both older and newer craft pieces from the various traditions that make up Mexican culture. The collection was gathered through the generosity of various institutions and individual donors. Some of the principal private donors include Alfonso Romo of Grupo Savia, who had promoted crafts for a number of years. He donated 1,400 pieces towards the opening of the museum. The second donor was Carlota Mapeli, who came to Mexico from Italy in the 1970s and dedicated herself to collecting embroidered garments and other textiles. She donated 400 pieces, many of which were weaved on backstrap looms.