The collection has been kept in St Mark’s Square since 1922, both in the Napoleonic Wing and parts of the Procuratie Nuove; the museum is accessed via the charming portico of the Palazzo.
The museum derives its name from Teodoro Correr, a patrician of the Venetian Correr family and a wise and passionate collector. His art collection and the Palazzo in San Zan Degolà in which it was kept was donated (on his request) to the lagoon city upon his death.
His will contained the process for opening up the house to the public and scholars, as well as the number of people and resources needed to ensure its proper operation. These precise instructions demonstrate his intentions as a donor: to create a place of conservation, exhibition, collection and fruition of objects of various kinds, as well as a place of culture for scholars.
Vincenzo Lazari oversaw the task of cataloging the collection of works (which had been on public display since 1836) by subdividing the objects, taking care of new donations, making purchases, soliciting restoration and organizing the museum to the desires of Correr, with an exhibition space and a place for study.
The continuous increase of the artistic heritage thanks to new bequests, donations and acquisitions allowed the establishment of the Musei Civici of Venice (which had been organised into a number of separate branches in the past) to be unified into the current system where all museums are managed together.