During a journey through Dalarna in 1872, one Artur Hazelius devised the idea of rescuing the traditional folk-culture that was beginning to disappear. One year later he opened the Scandinavian–Ethnographical Collection on Drottninggatan in Stockholm. The collection swiftly grew and in 1888 the first sod was turned for a museum building on Djurgården. The turreted building, designed by Isak Gustaf Clason, was inaugurated in 1907.
In 1891 Hazelius founded Skansen – the world’s first open air museum. The aim was to show how people lived and worked in Sweden during different periods. The Biological Museum was opened beside Skansen in 1893. The founder of this museum was Gustaf Kolthoff; conservator, hunter and amateur zoologist. His aim was to create a different type of museum concerning the Nordic animal world. In an attempt to give the visitor the experience of enjoying living animals and nature, he used the technique of dioramas displaying stuffed animals in their natural habitats.
The Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology opened in the 1930s. Over the course of the 20th century the park has acquired other prominent museums such as Prince Eugen’s Waldemarsudde, the Modern Museum and the Architecture Museum. The Carl Eldh Studio Museum, opened in 1963, is a unique document of an artist’s life and work from the first half of the 20th century. The latest museums to be added to the park are the Police Museum and National Sports Museum, which moved into their premises on Gärdet in 2007.