The extensive collection of works by Gabriele Münteras well as artists from the group known as the "Neue Künstlervereinigung München" [Munich New Artist’ Association] and the "Der Blaue Reiter" [The Blue Rider] (including Wassily Kandinsky, Marianne von Werefkin, Alexej Jawlensky, Franz Marc and Heinrich Campendonk) forms the core of the museum. The exhibits illustrate that the artists found many of their image motifs since 1908 in Murnau and surrounding area, became acquainted with Bavarian folk art (particularlyreverse glass painting) and managed the decisive artistic stop to newexpressive paintinghere. Kandinsky consistently pursued his path towards abstract art and spent important phases of work here with Marc, Münter and August Macke for preparation of the “The Blue Rider” almanac.
An extensive documentation is dedicated to thedramatist Ödön von Horváth, who mainly lived in Murnau between 1924 and his politically compelled departure in 1933, and wrote his plays such as "Zur schönen Aussicht" (“The Great View”) and "Italienische Nacht" (“Italian Night”) and also started the novel "Jugend ohne Gott" (“The Age of the Fish”) here. Expressive painting and Horváth’s texts drew inspiration from the encounter with the landscape around Murnau as well as the town and its people.
The history and development of the market town of Murnau lead over to depictions of trades typical to the town: the production of feather flowers and the art of reverse glass painting, expanded by the international collections of works by Dammert and Gartner, which present transregional works from Europe and Asia that go beyond local products.
Early landscape painting in the Alpine foreland since the 18th century sets another charming emphasis.
The Murnau Castle Museum was honoured with the Bavarian Museum Award in 1995.
Special exhibitions are held on a regular basis in the Murnau Castle Museum.