After its extensive restoration, Zwickau is celebrating the re-opening of its painting collection. To mark this occasion, for the first time, a richly illustrated catalogue with 170 selected works is presenting the collection, which ranges from the Late Middle Ages to the present day.
Paintings for the planned city gallery were already being purchased before the museum was opened in 1914. Thus the Impressionist and Jugendstil paintings so admired by the professors of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, like Carl Bantzer, Eugen Bracht and Gotthard Kuehl, entered the collection. Thanks to the commitment of the first Director, Hildebrand Gurlitt, in the 1920s, the museum grew into a modern, national art collection, which is still based around works from the Neue Sachlichkeit (New objectivity) movement and from Expressionism.
The Foundation of the Dresden art historian Walter Hentschel in 1971 allowed important paintings from the 16th to the 19th century from the Netherlands, Italy and Germany to be added to the collection. Today, one particular focus is the work of Max Pechstein, a Brücke artist, who was born in Zwickau.