With more than 40,000 works on paper, the Graphic Collection of the Augsburg Art Collections and Museums has one of the most important collections of graphic art from the Baroque and Rococo periods. The exhibition rooms of the graphic cabinet in the Höhmannhaus function as a window into this graphic collection and show in changing exhibitions its rich fundus and the countless facets of the drawing and printing arts that once flourished in Augsburg. In around four exhibitions per year, thematic complexes from the holdings of the Graphic Art Collection are presented in a concentrated form or exhibitions accompanying larger special exhibitions are presented.
The four-storey patrician house, the core of which dates back to the 16th or 17th century, is located right next to the Schaezlerpalais on the former wine market, the center of which is the Hercules fountain by Adriaen de Vries. Today's building was built at the beginning of the 17th century from two houses with wings on the courtyard side and a fountain wall (around 1620), which is associated with the Augsburg city master builder Elias Holl. In 1764, today's interior staircase was decorated with a fresco by the last Augsburg Academy director, Joseph Anton Huber (1737-1815). It shows the fall of Phaeton and the mourning of the Heliads in illusionistic architecture.
dr Ruth Höhmann (1915-2004), whose parents bought the house in 1934, bequeathed the building to the Augsburg art collections and museums, who, with their support, had set up the Neue Galerie here in 1994. Thanks to the generous support of three dignitaries, rooms for the presentation of excerpts from the graphics collection could also be prepared for the first time in 2011 with the accommodation of the graphics cabinet in the Höhmannhaus.
The Graphic Collection enjoys an excellent reputation thanks to its large inventory of hand drawings, copper engravings and etchings from the 16th to 18th centuries. It is of inestimable value as the cultural heritage of the city of Augsburg, since the works of almost all artists and publishers active in Augsburg can be found here, so it depicts the visual memory of Augsburg's art production of the past approx. 500 years. There are historical pieces, religious scenes, portraits, landscapes, still lifes, interiors, etc., as well as examples of applied arts with architectural plan sketches, technical drawings, designs for all kinds of handicrafts, colored paper, pattern sheets or iconographic templates.
One of the earliest and most valuable sheets in the Graphic Collection is a hand drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger, one of the city's most famous sons. The graphic collection also has architectural designs by Elias Holl and prints by Johann Esaias Nilson, who edited the works of other artists and documented them with his own copper engravings. There are also numerous works by the artist families Kilian and Rugendas. In addition to prints, the hand drawings of the Baroque period form an important part of the graphic collection, including sheets by Cosmas Damian Asam, Matthäus Günther, Johann Heinrich Schönfeld, Johann König, Mathäus Gundelach and Januarius Zick, but also by artists such as Johann Georg Bergmüller, Johann Heiss, Georg Philipp Rugendas and Michael Tenzel.
Visiting the graphic collection is only possible with prior registration.