Impressionist artists flocked to Schwalenberg because of the harmony of the medieval town, surrounded by quiet hilly landscapes and invested with beautiful light. Painters from Düsseldorf, Berlin and other cities came to the town to paint outdoors. Because they presented their works in exhibitions outside, the popularity of Schwalenberg grew and the town was soon called an ‘artist town’.
After the heydays of the artists´colony in the 1920s, a phase of stagnation followed. After the war, only a few artists came to town. From 1978, the County of Lippe, the Cultural agency of Lippe and the town of Schieder-Schwalenberg have been working hard to carry on the art tradition. By focusing on contemporary cultural trends, the old artist’s colony is filled with new life. Apart from the scholarships in Fine Arts and the Schwalenberger Summer Academy, there are 8-10 exhibitions each year, shown in the Municipal Museum and the Robert Koepke House. The exhibitions count to the cultural highlights of Schwalenberg.