Permanent collection

The Dachau Painting Gallery looks back on a tradition of over a hundred years. Its founding was initiated by Dachau artists and citizens who joined together to form the Museum Society in 1903. The first painting gallery was opened in the Dachau Palace in 1908. It was closed in 1957 and the collection was placed in storage. It was not until 1985 that the Gemäldegalerie – once again an initiative of the Dachau Museum Society – found its home in the heart of the historical town. The Association of Dachau Galleries and Museums assumed its management in 1988. In 2004/05 the premises were modernized. A roof terrace provides a panoramic view of the town’s rooftops and its surroundings.

In the permanent collection some 200 paintings and select sculptures document the development of landscape paintings in Dachau from its beginnings until well into the twentieth century. The focus is on the history of the Dachau artists’ colony that began around 1850 and ended with the First World War.

A tour of the museum begins with the artists’ discovery in the mid-nineteenth century of the Dachau market located outside the Munich gates and the special atmosphere of its moorlands. Since about 1880 several of these artists began to settle in Dachau. A group of painters, among them Adolf Hölzel, Ludwig Dill and Arthur Langhammer, became known nationally as “Die Dachauer” as a result of a Berlin exhibition held in 1898. The artistic ideas of Adolf Hölzel contributed, among other things, to the rise of abstract painting, thereby laying an essential foundation for the development of modern art in the twentieth century.

Special exhibitions focus on individual aspects of en plein air painting in Dachau and on other European artist colonies.