Graphic Art / Painting Collection

The Graphics and Painting Collection brings together what is likely the most significant and comprehensive compilation illustrating Munich through the ages. Like a picture archive, the collection preserves the documents needed to produce a visual chronology of the city. Its materials range from maps to cityscape paintings, pictures of major events and portraits, through to the menu from the Hofbräuhaus inn. The prints and drawings alone number about 250,000. Academics and researchers from around the world congregate in the Münchner Stadtmuseum's Study Hall to peruse this treasure trove (advance registration required).

With some 18,000 separate items, the collection's historic centerpiece is the "Pictorial Chronicle of the City of Munich" created by Joseph Maillinger (1831-1884). Popularly known as the Maillinger Collection, it not only contains outstanding drawings and watercolors by well-known artists like Johann Georg von Dillis, Gustav Wilhelm Kraus and Franz Xaver Nachtmann. It also features complete sets of architectural drawings, including the plans for the Walhalla Memorial by Leo von Klenze. Further items have been added since the museum was opened almost 125 years ago. These include the collections of Franz Xaver Zettler and Carlo Proebst with their unique documentations of, and examples from, the earliest days of photography in Munich.

The works of Munich artists bequeathed at their deaths form another key component. They include 2,000 drawings and designs produced by the sculptor Ludwig von Schwanthaler. The "Krumper Bequest" is considered particularly valuable by art historians. These papers include large and detailed architectural drawings from the period around 1600, among them some of the designs for St. Michael's Church in Munich. Most of these exceptional early items stem from the court, but the collection also testifies to the historical awareness of the local citizenry, albeit one that failed to assert itself until the 19th century.

Some 20,000 portraits of Munich residents are catalogued in the "Portrait Archive" which provides a cross-section of all of the museum’s collections. An initial selection has been created in conjunction with the online department of the Bavarian State Library. It can be viewed at www.bayerische-landesbibliothek-online.de/portraetsammlung-muenchner-stadtmuseum.