An integral part of the Museo di Arti Decorative (Museum of Decorative Arts), the Museo dei Mobili e delle Sculture Lignee (Museum of Furniture and Wooden Sculptures), was formed thanks to donations, bequests, and the purchase, in 1908, of the Mora collection. The Mora were a family of cabinet-makers from Bergamo, who for a period of time owned a famous shop in Via Solferino, in Milan. During the 20th century the core of the collection expanded thanks to the legacies of families such as the Durini, the Andreani, the Boschi, but especially thanks to the arrival of furnishings from the Savoy residences, including Palazzo Reale and the Villas in Monza and Milan, which were left to the state and earmarked for the civic collections.

The permanent exhibition from the post-war period to modern times

The furniture collection, mounted according to chronological criteria that favoured categorisation by studio BBPR (Banfi, Belgiojoso, Peressutti, Rogers) in the 1960s, was reopened to the public with a new layout in 1981. In this particular arrangement attention was focused on the furniture of the Renaissance (much of which was restored in the 19th century) or in Renaissance style. In 2004 the section was completely rearranged under the direction of Claudio Salsi and following designs by architects Perry King and Santiago Miranda. At this time the chronological boundary was expanded to include contemporary design, so as create a more modern museum for a city such as Milan, known as the capital of design and a region such as Lombardy, which has been at the forefront of furniture production for the past two hundred years.