The Kunsthalle

The Kunsthalle

Kunsthalle Bremen

Between tradition and modernism

The Kunstverein in Bremen was founded in 1823. More than 170 years ago, not far from Bremen's market square, the Kunsthalle Bremen was built on its initiative as first independent institution to house a civic collection in Germany. It remains privately supported by the Kunstverein in Bremen and has become one of the most important and beautiful museums in Europe with a diverse collection of artworks spanning eight centuries. As a vital part of the cultural landscape, the museum not only sees itself as an exhibition venue, but also as a place to encounter and explore current issues and developments.

More about the Kunstverein in Bremen

Through the extensive historical collections and an active exhibition and event programme, the past and present, Bremen and the world are brought together in a productive dialogue. The aim is to awaken enthusiasm for the visual arts among all sections of the population and among people of all ages and different cultural backgrounds, as well as to create individual approaches. To this end, the Kunsthalle has been undergoing an active process of opening and diversification since the 2000s.

Photo: Michael Gielen

Following substantial expansions and renovations, the Kunsthalle Bremen is not only technologically up to date, the architecture of the building also demonstrates a programmatic relationship between the past and the present. The original neoclassical building from 1849 with the extension from 1902 was given two two-storey wings that accentuate the symmetry of the original architecture. These restrained modern annexes provide outstanding galleries for our collections and special exhibitions as well as rooms for events, studios, seminars, workshops, and depots. They embody the active relationship between tradition and innovation that continues to distinguish the Kunsthalle Bremen.

The Collection

From Dürer to Monet, Picasso and Turrell – 700 years of art history in one place

Merry-Joseph Blondel, Family Portrait, 1813, Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen / photo: Lars Lohrisch

Over the course of the 200 years of Kunstverein and Kunsthalle history, a collection of outstanding paintings and sculptures as well as one of the largest and most significant departments of prints and drawings in Germany has been created. This collection is characterized by the civic nature of the Kunstverein and the commercial traditions of the city of Bremen.

More about the Kunsthalle Bremen collection

Online Catalogue of the collection

The Kunsthalle Bremen on Google Arts & Culture



Ever since the museum was first founded in 1849, the Kunsthalle Bremen has possessed its own fine arts library with an inventory of nearly 95,000 volumes by now.

In addition to a comprehensive collection of catalogue raisonnés, auction, exhibition and collection catalogues, the Kunsthalle library also has a large assortment of illustrated books from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. A part of this reference library can be accessed and searched via a public online catalogue (OPAC).

Online catalogue of the Kunsthalle Bremen library

The library is open at the following times for visitors who have registered in advance:
Tue to Thu 10 am – 5 pm
Fri 10 am – 4 pm

Contact us:

Allgemeine Anfragen an die Kunsthalle / General inquiries to the Kunsthalle
+49 (0)421 - 32 908 0
Kontakt Bibliothek / Library
+49 (0)421 - 32 908 390


Floor Plan Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF | in German)
Floor Plan Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF | in German)
Floor Plan Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF)
Floor Plan Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF)
Visitor guidelines for the Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF - German)
Visitor guidelines for the Kunsthalle Bremen (PDF - German)
Overview exhibition catalogues (PDF)
Overview exhibition catalogues (PDF)
Overview collection catalogues (PDF)
Overview special publications (PDF)