In the 19th century, King Ludwig I made it his mission to establish Munich as an artistic and cultural center, financing various art and architectural projects that continue to be relevant today. From the museums of the Kunstareal district to the street art, here are the highlights of Munich’s vibrant art scene.
Old Pinakothek (Alte Pinakothek)
Classic art takes center stage at this well-known gallery, with old masters dominating. Don’t miss Rubens’ The Great Last Judgement, and enormous fresco almost 20 feet (6 meters) high.
New Pinakothek (Neue Pinakothek)
The New Pinakothek takes off where the Old Pinakothek leaves off. The galleries focus on the major European art movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, from Romanticism to impressionism.
Pinakothek der Moderne
The last of the Pinakotheks is devoted to 20th-century art, with Picasso, Dalí, and Warhol all represented. Space is also given to applied design, graphic arts, and architecture.
Pop art and abstract expressionism are among the 20th-century movements spotlighted at this contemporary art museum, including Cy Twombly’s Lepanto series and more than 100 of Andy Warhol’s pieces.
Haus der Kunst
Built in 1937, Haus der Kunst originally showcased only Nazi-approved work. After the fall of the Third Reich, the gallery turned its attention to artists banned by the Nazis, and now hosts innovative exhibitions of contemporary paintings, photography, sculpture, and more.
Though Berlin is still the epicenter of Germany’s urban art scene, Munich has its own rich collection of street art. Some of the best examples can be seen in the city’s pedestrian underpasses, such as the one that runs under the Angel of Peace monument (Friedensengel) near the Isar River. Urban art exhibitions can also be seen at MUCA, Munich’s Museum of Urban and Contemporary Art.