The National Museum was established as an institution when three museums consolidated in 2003.

The National Museum was established as an institution in 2003 as a result of the consolidation of the National Gallery, The Museum of Architecture, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Museum's exhibition venues in Oslo are the National Museum – Architecture and Villa Stenersen. The National Gallery closed in January 2019. The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design closed in October 2016 and The Museum of Contemporary Art closed 3 September 2017. 

The new National Museum opens in 2022.