From medieval times to the present: the Städel Museum’s permanent exhibition takes you on a journey through more than 700 years of art. On more than 15,000 square metres of exhibition space you can take inspiration from paintings and sculptures, photographs, drawings and prints. Discover the permanent exhibition on site—and even more art in our Digital Collection.
Guided tour in English
Customized company workshops or after-work tours at the Städel Museum
Private guided tours through 700 years of art
A very special museum experience for schools, kindergartens, or after-school groups
European painting from 1300 to 1800. The oldest works of art are still deeply rooted in the Christian faith of the Middle Ages.
With the beginning of the Renaissance, the reality of the humanistically educated human being becomes the focus of attention. The increasingly emotional representations proves to be complex in content until well into the Baroque.
In the period from 1800 to 1945, European societies undergo rapid changes. Changes which are just as rapid and drastic in the fine arts.
Questions are raised and controversially discussed. Should or may art be beautiful? Does it serve a purpose? What role does religion play? One thing became apparent despite the many discourses: art is given more space in the hearts and minds of people as never before.
Contemporary art in the Städel spans the period from 1945 to the present day.
This period brings together a large number of very different art movements, which position themselves to each other or against each other in ever shorter periods of time. The collection reveals wide-ranging intertwinings over decades, schools, isms and groups.
The Städel Collection of Prints and Drawings comprises drawings and prints from the late Middle Ages to the present day and is one of the most important collections of its kind in Germany.
However, drawn or printed creations on paper are highly sensitive as they can take only small amounts of light. Therefore, the precious works can only be shown in exhibitions every once in a while.
Study Room of the Department of Prints and Drawings
View the sensitive holdings close up
Artworks on paper cannot be placed on permanent display because they would be damaged by prolonged exposure to light. They are accordingly kept in storage “in the dark”, and placed at the visitors’ disposal for viewing purposes in the Study Room of the Department of Prints and Drawings upon request. The department moreover presents regularly changing temporary exhibitions on various themes of relevance to the collection.
Photography already made its way into the Städel Collection as far back as ca. 1850. Today the museum holdings encompass more than 5,000 works dating from the medium’s beginnings to the present.
Initially used to fulfil utilitarian purposes, it gradually became an art form in its own right that set—and continues to set—new aesthetic standards. Photography has many faces: it is reproduction, documentation, staging, imprint, advertisement, art, and much more. It revolutionized our visual habits and still interacts with painting to this day. The Städel Museum’s photography collection mirrors this development.
Cabinet for Photography
Since the redesign of the Modern Art galleries in summer 2022, a permanent cabinet for photography has been part of the permanent exhibition.
Cabinet for Contemporary Photography
As part of the permanent exhibition in the Contemporary Art galleries, the Cabinet for Contemporary Photography shows changing presentations.