In the seventeenth century this was the Great Hall ('Grote Sael') in the house occupied by Louys Trip. This was where guests of the family were received.
In the years when the Trippenhuis was being adapted to accommodate the Royal Institute of Sciences and the Royal Museum (1815-1817), architect Abraham van der Hart had the dividing wall between the two houses removed to create a large museum hall. In 1855 the wall was replaced to enable the members of the Academy to meet in a quiet atmosphere.
The gallery was intended for onlookers attending the general assemblies. The ceiling paintings, which were covered with paint and canvas in the Rijksmuseum period, were removed by accident during the alterations.
From 1856 the members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) used this room for the Academy's departmental meetings, and continued to do so until 1982 when the new meeting room in the garden was completed.