The Albertinum, named after Saxon king Albert, was built between 184 and 1887 by Carl Adolf Canzler on the site of a former armoury to serve as a public museum and archive. Since 1889 the Albertinum has displayed an excellent sculpture collection, including the celebrated but problematic reconstructions of the Lemnian Athena. Destroyed in February 1945, the Albertinum was rebuilt by 1953.
Until 2004 the Albertinum was the postwar home of the Green Vault (Grünes Gewölbe), often called Germany's most meaningful collection of royal treasures, such as a cherry pit with 365 engraved faces. However the Green Vault is now back in the innercity Residence castle in Dresden and no longer in the Albertinum. Regarding new masters, sometimes the students of the Dresden art academy show their works of future masters, or not, in front of the Albertinum.
Today it hosts the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister (New Masters Gallery) and the Münzkabinett (Coin Cabinet) of the Dresden State Art Collections (Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden) but is currently under construction. The New Masters Gallery features masterpieces from the 19th and 20th century including works by Degas, Dix, Manet, Monet, Richter, Van Gogh, and others.
Since begin of 2006 the Albertinum is closed due renovation, the work will finish estimated in fall of 2009. After this it shall be reopened as a "house of the modern" and cover again the New Masters Gallery and parts of the sculpture collection in a brand new conception. The most important improvement will be the roofing of the inner courtyard to an atrium, called "an ark for the art". The reason for the necessity of renovation was the "one-hundred-year flood" of the river Elbe in 2002, since this incident the old depots under the theater place cannot used anymore.