During the 1970s, this curiosity for things significant but largely disregarded spawned a popular exhibition style that soon found many disciples. With this new appetite for ephemera, ostensibly worthless objects were increasingly seen as documenting significant trends and developments, and the stories behind the exhibits were examined in entertaining, and occasionally sentimental, style. And there were scandals aplenty. With its connotations of political extremism, "National Frenzy" – the subtitle of an exhibition on the city’s world-famous Oktoberfest (1985) – sparked a major controversy, while catalog texts on the now decommissioned nuclear power plant Ohu for the exhibit "The River Isar, A Resumé" (1983) also ignited a heated debate. The ten commandments proved far from sacred too, with the 100,000 visitors to the photography exhibition "The Nude" (1985) posting an all-time museum record. And then, when subjects like "The 1920s in Munich" (1979) and finally the Nazi era ("Munich. Capital City of the Movement" from 1993) were spotlighted in major exhibitions, the organizers needed strong nerves to handle the emotional upheaval. Then, however, funds available for the host of temporary and increasingly elaborate exhibitions began to dwindle and the lack of an attractive permanent exhibition began to take its toll.
A project to redevelop St.-Jakobs-Platz around 2000 provided the impetus to realize long-cherished plans to transform the museum. The result is a permanent exhibition entitled "Typically Munich!" which, drawing exclusively on the museum’s own resources, represents an initial attempt to capture the city's history, character and residents in pictures, sculptures and display cabinets. Alongside familiar exhibits, such as the ten wood carvings of Morris dancers by Erasmus Grasser, visitors will discover lots of surprises and items that have rarely seen the light of day before.
Another building on the square was added to the museum complex in 1977: the former home and workshop of Ignaz Günther, a leading sculptor from Munich during the Rococo period. This structure was created around the middle of the 18th century when two medieval houses on Oberer and Unterer Anger streets were joined. The small interior courtyard with its fountain, the steep steps better known as the "Stairway to Heaven", a ceiling with wooden beams, and the dormer window affectionately known as "Ohrwaschl" ("earhole") all testify to its former life. Today the house is home to the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s administration.