After Xu Beihong’s death in 1953, his widow Liao Jingwen, on her own initiative, donated to the government more than 1200 of Xu Beihong’s original sketches, drawings, oil paintings, and Chinese ink brush paintings. She also donated his entire personal collection including more than 1000 artworks. His collection encompassed calligraphy and paintings by accomplished artists of the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, and of contemporary times, along with masterworks by Western artists. The Xu Beihong Memorial Museum was established in the artist’s former residence in 1954. The first art museum in China dedicated to a single artist and funded by the government, it displayed works by Xu Beihong and those from his collection.
In 1983, the new and larger Xu Beihong Memorial Museum opened its doors to visitors in its current location in Xinjiekou, Beijing. After major expansion that had started in 2013 was completed, the museum reopened in its existing location in 2019.