The permanent exhibition shows a cross-section of the collection compiled by Dr Hermann Klumpp. It covers Lyonel Feininger's creative years from 1905 to 1937 and is complemented by early works from the caricaturist’s own collection. The artist's late works, which were created in the USA after 1937, are reserved for separate projects.
The presentation is not in chronological order, but instead connects various aspects of his work: rather than showing his life's work as a rigid sequence, it illustrates how his complex artistic concept developed. Model ships thus correspond both with Baltic motifs from his early painting and with later graphics and sketches. Items once owned by Feininger – the chest of drawers where he kept his graphics and his easel – underline the unique nature of the collection.
There are purely conservational reasons for limiting the permanent exhibition to selected works: special rules need to be adhered to when working with prints. To avoid damage such as yellowing, paper can only be exposed to light to a limited extent. As a result, the works on display are replaced after twelve weeks at the latest, meaning that, with quarterly changes, the permanent exhibition displays roughly 100 graphics and drawings every year.