The Pedro de Osma Museum owes its incipience to its namesake, the collector Pedro de Osma Gildemeister, who bought, protected and exhibited Peruvian viceregal artworks.
For most of his life, until his death in 1967, he collected art made in Peru during the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries, objects such as: paintings, sculptures, altar decorations, silverwork, sculptures in Huamanga stone, and furniture – originating from diverse centers of traditional Andean artistic creation – especially Cusco and Ayacucho. He exhibited these works in the various rooms of his home, with no pretension of claiming the space as a museum. He took great pride in his collection and strove to share it with others. He often presented and explained the works to guests.
After the death of Pedro de Osma, the Pedro y Angelica de Osma Gildemeister Foundation was formed in order to conserve and exhibit the collection of Pedro for the public. In the year 1988 the Pedro de Osma Museum opened its doors for private groups with reservations, and in 1996 the Museum began operating on a continual schedule, six days a week.
The Museum, in its mission to conserve the patrimony of Peru dating to the viceregal era, educate international visitors and Peruvians on viceregal visual culture, and contribute to academic investigations in the field of viceregal art history, provides a venue in which to strengthen the Peruvian cultural identity and appreciate viceregal culture.