The Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe’s prolific collection provides the solid foundations for the gallery’s exhibition and outreach activities. At the same time, the gallery displays the predilections and artistic sensibilities of Baden nobility, the margravines and margraves, whose collections formed the roots of today’s museum. This treasure trove of paintings has been continually expanded and is still growing today. At present, some 3455 works from the important epochs of art history offer the visitor a wide panorama of Western art.
The Kunsthalle’s most important departments include early German art from the 14th–16th centuries, Netherlandish art from the 16th and 17th centuries, and French art from the 17th and 18th centuries. Painting from the 19th century is also on display in the museum – with important Biedermeier, Romantic, Realist and Impressionist works – as well as Modernist works that span the most important trends of the first half of the 20th century: Expressionism, Constructivism, and the New Objectivity. From the middle of the 20th century onwards, the museum has deliberately expanded its collection to include contemporary art, so that works of Informal art, conceptual art, and the New Figuration, as well as cross-media works are also represented.
The Kupferstichkabinett houses more than 90,000 drawings and graphic prints from all eras, and is one of the oldest in Europe.