The museum itself contains artwork exclusively from the Brücke movement, founded in 1905 by four students of architecture; Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Fritz Bleyl.
The group, expanded the following year when Max Pechstein and Emil Nolde joined, went on to become an important influence on 20th century art.
Their critical attitude toward traditional painting and their rejection of academic traditions produced the movement, Expressionism. Expressionism gave rise to a new awareness of life where colour, applied wildly, broke free of the natural colours of an object and so became independent of it.
The museum was opened 1967 in Berlin. Karl Schmitt-Rotluff was the driving force behind its opening, donating over 70 paintings in 1964. Today the museum owns around 400 paintings and sculptures as well as several thousand drawings and other creations of die Brücke artisits.