The museum was founded by Antonis Benakis in 1930. Initially, the museum has many collections of Greek, Asian, Islamic art, it has also exhibited a collection of Chinese porcelain and toys. Over time, the collection is distributed over the other buildings of the museum, which allowed the central office to focus on Greek art. Benaki Museum in Athens exhibits the prehistoric times and the present.
There are also the exhibitions of the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean art, as well as items from the Byzantine period. The modern collection in the museum consists of artifacts more religious from Greece. Including wooden paintings, decorative items, textiles, traditional costumes, jewels and much more.