The Museum is one of the oldest museums of Veneto and was established in 1828 after the donation of the naturalist Giambattista Brocchi; it consists of a Museum, a Library and an Archive and it is located from 1840 in the former convent next to Saint Francis Church. In this building several collections owned by the Museum are displayed: archaeological collection (4462 pieces), coin collection (8453 pieces), the paintings of the picture gallery (728 pieces), the graphical collection (19488 pieces) and the Canova’s Legacy (1815 pieces not including the correspondence). In 1831 a small group of paintings was displayed in the rooms next to the Saint Francis cloister; in 1840 some paintings from the Council Room of the Town Hall were added, then the natural History collections and the books donated by Giambattista Brocchi.
The entire heritage increased during the years and nowadays only a small part of it can be admired and studied; this small part is displayed in the Archaeological Section (ancient venetian, Magna Graecia, Roman and medieval finds), in the Picture Gallery (paintings from the 13th to the 20th century) and in the cloister (lapidary: stones, badges, inscriptions, headstones and architectural fragments from the 13th century).
In the Picture Gallery 500 paintings are displayed, and among those there is the largest collection in the world of Jacopo da Ponte’s works and many examples of the activity of his ”bottega“. In the Canova’s section over two thousand signed drawings are collected, along with his correspondence, his library, several sketches and plaster models and the precious collection of the monochromes, the only evidence of this particular production. In 1943 the Civic Library opened after Brocchi’s inheritance, and during the years there have been several other donations: Bassano leaflets by Giambattista Roberti, original manuscripts by Bartolomeo Gamba, Antonio Canova’s correspondence, drawing albums and books of engravings, a part of the library and of the papers of the Remondini printers.
The library hosts also the Town Archive with documents from 1211 to 1950.