Fine Arts: Museums & Art Galleries
Note our directory of museums in Salzburg. The flagship museums for cultural matters are the Salzburg Museum (history and art from the local area), the Rupertinum (graphic art, mostly modern and contemporary) and the Museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg hill (modern and contemporary art). The latter one is a fairly recent addition to Salzburg′s cultural scene and comes mostly with temporary exhibitions.
In our opinion, that is the best what a provincial museum can do - and in fact, the exhibitions are usually of exceptionally high quality and often justify a visit to the city just for the sake of seeing them. Other art museums are rather small and not significant on an international scale. You might be interested in the Barockmuseum next to Mirabell Palace if you have a specialist interest in Baroque fine arts; in this case, note also the Residenzgalerie in the Residenz Palace.
Art Galleries & Contemporary Art of Salzburg Foundation
Things are slightly more interesting with commercial art galleries: Salzburg is full of them, nourished by the many wealthy people who retire to this city and its surroundings. Almost all of them are insignificant by international standards and sell "decorative" things; however, during the six weeks of the Salzburg Festival, additional space is rented by art galleries and chances are high that you will find grade-A shows especially in the Altstadt (Old Town).
There are four or five galleries that sell acceptable contemporary art during the year, but even those will keep their best shows for the summer season and we suspect that this is the time of the year when they make the real money that is needed to run the place during the dead season, when a local dentist might buy a third class sketch by Alex Katz because it reminds him of his trophy wife and somebody told him that Katz is what it people buy in New York. For a "good" gallery, note the one of Thaddaeus Ropac.
For serious fine arts of the contemporary kind note also the ongoing project of the Salzburg Foundation: This group of private benefactors of Salzburg started in 2002 to purchase one big piece of art by an established artist and present it at a public place in the city. So far, contributing artists included Anselm Kiefer (started in 2002), Mario Merz, Marina Abramovic, Markus Lüpertz, James Turrell, Stephan Balkenhol, Anthony Cragg, and Christian Boltanski. The project will continue until 2012, when the ten pieces of art should finally be united in some permanent venue that remains to be found.
The Museum of Modern Art Salzburg
Salzburf Fine Art Fair
Wikipedia on fine art