The creation of the collection

The history of the Alte Galerie

"For the pleasure of the general public"

Two hundred years ago on 11 March, the Grätzer Zeitung (“Graz Journal”) published an “announcement to the public” under the heading “Promulgations of the Estates”, according to which the Landesbildergalerie (“Styrian Painting Gallery”)  would be open to “everyone” on two days of the week for two hours each from 21 March 1819.
These opening hours seem somewhat meagre today. However, the very fact that art in Graz was now accessible to the general public is significant. Until then, the arts and discussion of artistic matters had been the preserve of the wealthy. Art could only be studied by exclusive circles, especially those with access to collections owned by the nobility. This changed with the age of the Enlightenment and the revolutions that occurred at the end of the 18th century. Art was now understood as the property of a general public or of a national community. Most national and urban art museums emerged as a result.

Image Credits

The establishment of the Graz “Paintings Gallery”
The Wildenstein House
The new museum building at Neutorgasse 45
Merger, restructuring and reorganisation
Division of the collection into the Alte Galerie and Neue Galerie
Relocation of the Alte Galerie to Schloss Eggenberg