The core of the collection is Alexandros Iolass donation of 30 works by internationally acclaimed artists. The museum was originally housed in the FilkeramJohnson factory, but now both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions occupy a specially modified pavilion in the centre of the Helexpo grounds.
The original collection has been augmented by new donations, both from major collectors, such as Franz Geierhaas, and from artists. The museum now owns more than 2,000 works of painting, sculpture, engraving, and photography by Greek and foreign artists, such as Adamakos, Akrithakis, Alitheinos, Angelicas, Antonakos, Baboussis, Barclay, Beuys, Bouteas, Branco, Brauner, Ceysens, Charpin, Crippa, Dabasina, Decaneas, Delacroix, Delebecque, Devin, Dimitreas, Dokatzis, Emo, Fassianos, Ferro, Finotti, Fokas, Georgiou, Goodyear, Goulakos, Graikou, Grammenos, Haris, Hryssa, Ignadottir, Kaloussi, Katzourakis, Kellis, Kelm, Keramea, Kessanlis, Kokkinidis, Kondosfyris, Kosolapov, Koulentianos, Krims, Krstic, Kryonidis, Kypraios, Lanteri, Lazongas, Lefakis, Makri, Manos, Mantzavinos, Manolaraki, Marouda, Mattiaci, Molfessis, Moraïti, Moralis, Mortarakos, Mouzakitou, Mytaras, Navridis, Nikolaïdis, Nikolaïdou, Oppenheim, Panayotakis, Paniaras, Angelos Papadimitriou, Maria Papadimitriou, Papafilippou, Pascali, Pavlos, Payram, Petros, Philolaos, Plossu, Polke, Popcis, Poulos, Prinarakis, Psychopaidis, Raynaud, Raysse, Saint-Phalle, Salsmann, Samios, Santorinaios, Nikos Sahinis, Xenis Sahinis, Sarandopoulou, Schmeisser, Simon, Skourtis, Spiliopoulos, Spyropoulos, Svoronou-Kokkinidi, Takis, Tetsis, Tinguely, Triandafyllou, Tsioumas, Tsoklis, Tzivelos, Vakalo, Varotsos, Velickovic, Vousouras, Vyssios, Warhol, Werner, Yannadakis, Zervou, Zimmer, Zongolopoulos, Zouboulis, and Zouni.
The museum loans works to other museums in Europe (such as the Kunsthalle in Bonn and the Jeu de paume in Paris); works with Greek visual arts institutions, such as the Lambrakis Foundation, the Benaki Museum, and the National Gallery; organises exhibitions of Greek and foreign artists often for the first time in Greece; publishes complete catalogues of its exhibitions; and liases closely with Aris Georgiou on the joint organisation of Photosynkyria, the international photography festival.
Special programmes are organised for schoolchildren, such as ‘Lets Play at Art (in which the children learn about works of art and progress to creating their own artworks) and ‘Children and Contemporary Art (which is an exhibition of artwork produced by children who have visited the museum), and lectures in association with authors who have written books on visual art for children.
The museum shop sells all the publications connected with the group and solo exhibitions which the museum has organised (catalogues, posters, silk-screen prints, engravings, and postcards), a limited number of copies of small art objects bearing the signatures of such artists as Picasso, Modigliani, Pavlos, Akrithakis, Fasianos, Mytaras, and Varotsos, books on contemporary art (painting, sculpture, photography), monographs by Greek and foreign artists, and monographs on major movements of the 20th century.