Museum director Friedrich Fries, with the support of numerous benefactors and sponsors, acquired works of Dutch painting from the 15th and 17th centuries, examples of French painting and landscapes by Henri Rousseau, Charles-François Daubigny, Gustave Courbet, Paul Cézanne and Claude Monet were purchased. To show the development of German painting in the 19th century was close to Friedrich Fries’ heart. In 1910, the exhibition of the “Neue Künstlervereinigung München” was also shown in the Elberfelder Museum after a first stop in the Barmer Kunsthalle. In 1911, through the mediation of August von der Heydt, the Elberfelder Museumsverein acquired Pablo Picasso’s painting “Acrobat and Young Harlequin” (1905) in Paris, which was donated to the Elberfeld Municipal Museum (confiscated by the Nazis in 1937 as “degenerate art”). It is the first work of Picasso in a museum.