The history of the Grötzingen artists’ colony began in 1889 with the purchase of a summer house by Friedrich Kallmorgen. A short time later animal painter Otto Fikentscher bought the Augustenburg, a castle formerly belonging to the margraves of Baden, and took up residence there with his wife Jenny. Other Karlsruhe painters – Gustav Kampmann, Franz Hein and Karl Biese – soon joined them with their families. The Grötzingen painters maintained artistic ties to nearby Karlsruhe, at that time the residence of the rulers of Baden, and were among the founding members of the Karlsruher Künstlerbund (Association of Karlsruhe Artists), a secessionist group founded in 1896. The association's reformist ambitions included the production of artistic wall decorations for schools and homes, projects in which the Grötzingen painters were actively involved. The Künstlerbund’s lithographs, distributed primarily by the Leipzig publishing houses Teubner and Voigtländer, became famous throughout Germany.
After World War II Gustav Hofmann and Karl Seckinger continued to live in Grötzingen, and new artists, who like their predecessors had studied at the Karlsruhe Academy, also settled there. They were all casually acquainted with each other, brought together by their shared interest in Grötzingen motifs. Particularly noteworthy here are Franz and Susanne Dewald, Helmut Lingg and Waltraud Kniss; and, in the 1980s, painters Peter Fischer, Helmut Liebe, Brigitte Nowatzke-Kraft, Richard Rothweiler, Bruno Schüssler, Johanna Sitterle and Josef Sommer, sculptor Oskar Rösch and ceramic artist Stefan Holzmüller.
After more than 100 years, today there is once again a vibrant art scene in the village, which now belongs to the city of Karlsruhe. The exciting development of the arts has continued in Grötzingen, characterized by a harmonization of tradition and modernity, individualism and an artistic spectrum that now extends beyond painting. The artists who reside in Grötzingen hold exhibitions of their works and other special activities, helping to make the name of the village well-known throughout the region. Often housed in interesting buildings, their studios have a special atmosphere and contribute to Grötzingen’s distinctive townscape. A regular group exhibition of current works is held every two years under the traditional name “Grötzingen Painters.” An open studio tour allows visitors to view the artists’ ateliers.