The present study represents a new approach regarding the beginning of the Art Museum in Iasi, based not on the older writings, but on the research of documents preserved in the fond of the Ministry of Cults and Public Instruction (presently found at the National Archives – the Branch of the County of Iasi). The focus is on the climate of the age, the degree of receptivity of the Moldavian society to the phenomenon of plastic arts, which allowed the creation of institutions meant to support and administer the artistic activity from the Moldavian capital. V. A.Urechia’s and M. Kogălniceanu’s merits in the creation of a legislative and institutional framework necessary to the constitution of the Art gallery are equally emphasized. It functioned within the School of Fine Arts of Iasi, inside the building of the first University (1860) and then inside the Mihăileanu Academy (Central College). The project of the institution was conceived by painters Gh. Năstăseanu and Gh. Panaiteanu-Bardasare. The Art gallery also beneficiated from Gh. Schiller’s experience, a specialized restorer formed in Italy. As an annex of the Art School, the Art gallery offered models for the future plastic artists. On a social level, this collection of paintings contributed to the shaping of the artistic taste of the entire generation, as well as to the crystallization of a national Pantheon, through portraits of personalities, ordered and collected. The generous donations of collectors such as Scarlat Vârnav, Costache Negri, Constantin Dasiade and Alexandru Donici were at the foundation of the public collection, offering worth following examples.