The Savio Museum was established by Sør-Varanger municipality in 1994 as a national art museum of the Sami artist John Andreas Savio’s life and work. In 2001, the Savio Museum was given the status of a Sami museum and subject to the Sami Parliament’s administration. Since 2002, the Savio Museum has been temporarily located at the Borderland Museum (Grenselandmuseet, Varanger Museum IKS) pending better suitable premises.From 01.01.2012, the Savio Museum has been a consolidated unit in Deanu ja Várjjat Museasiida / Tana and Varanger Museumssiida (DVM) with administrative location Varangerbotn. The Savio Museum is financed by Sør-Varanger municipality, the Sami Parliament and Troms and Finnmark county municipalities.
The art collection is owned by Sør-Varanger municipality. Today, the museum manages 900 works by John Savio that have been procured through several purchases. The last major purchase was made in 2017, through a joint venture where the Sami Parliament, Finnmark County, FeFo, Sør-Varanger Municipality and DVM were contributors.
The museum also has a small number of works by other artists and a number of cultural-historical photographs and objects. The museum has been given the legal ownership of the Bååstede objects, which will be returned from the Norwegian Folk Museum to Sør-Varanger, when the conditions for reception are present.