Opened in 1923 as the Graphikkabinett (renamed the Grafische Sammlung, or Graphic Arts Collection, in 1997), the basis of the collection consists of the holdings of the Kunstverein Kunsthütte, founded in 1860, and of the Städtische Kunstsammlung. Through acquisitions and donations, the collection has grown to comprise about 23,000 graphic artworks, including 7,000 drawings and watercolours. Outstanding works on paper from the late 18th and the 19th centuries reflect the development of German art, especially in the Saxonian region. Landscapes, portraits, and genre scenes by, among others, Adrian Zingg, Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, Ernst Ferdinand Oehme, Christian Friedrich Gille, and Robert Kummer convey the immense variety of drawing tools and techniques. The oeuvre of Honoré Daumier is another focus of the collection, involving more than 1,300 lithographs.
Max Klinger is represented with numerous works: individual prints, almost all his graphic cycles, as well as the preliminary drawings and cardboard fragments for his mural Arbeit = Schönheit = Wohlstand in the Chemnitz city hall.
In the field of classic modern art, works on paper by Ernst Barlach, Max Beckmann, Otto Dix, Käthe Kollwitz, and Edvard Munch are of major importance. Extensive groups of works by the Brücke artists illustrate the profound impact of traditional forms of artistic expression. Special highlights of the collection are works by Lyonel Feininger, Edvard Munch, and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. The regionally significant »Chemnitz Artist Group«, founded in 1907, is represented by extensive collections. A large complex of woodcuts and drawings by Wilhelm Rudolph leads into post–World War II art.
The collection of works made up to the present day focuses on regional and international art: Albert Hennig, Heinz Tetzner, Werner Wittig, and Gerhard Altenbourg, the representatives of the Karl-Marx-Stadt-based Clara Mosch artist group – namely, Carlfriedrich Claus, Thomas Ranft, Dagmar Ranft-Schinke, Michael Morgner, and Gregor-Torsten Schade (since 1980 Kozik) –, and works by Karl-Heinz Adler, Georg Baselitz, K. O. Götz, Dieter Goltzsche, Horst Hussel, Ilya Kabakov, Markus Lüpertz, Matthias Mansen, Carsten Nicolai, and Osmar Osten convey the artistic diversity in their forms of expression. Wolfgang Mattheuer’s complete graphic oeuvre is also in the Graphic Arts Collection’s holdings.
Advance appointments can be made to see prints on the last Thursday of each month, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Appointments for viewing can be made with Kerstin Drechsel at +49 (0)371 488 4418 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or with Anette Kindler at +49 (0)371 488 4419 or email@example.com.