The original core of the "Raccolta Lercaro" dates back to 1971, when four artists from Bologna (Aldo Borgonzoni, Pompilio Mandelli, Enzo Pasqualini, Ilario Rossi) donated some of their works to Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro (1891-1976), Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, on the occasion of his eightieth birthday.
The original collection has grown over the years, adding many other works of art.
In 2009, Bishop Ernesto Vecchi, President of the Foundation Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro, asked the new director, Andrea Dall'Asta S.I., to reorganize the exhibition space to leave space for temporary exhibitions and for promoting various cultural activities.
The "Raccolta Lercaro" has since worked to become the producer of culture, educator of young people and a place of meditation of imagery. This ambition recognizes how man’s search for Beauty testifies to his longing for the Absolute.