During the second half of the 19th century, Munich’s population swelled five times – from 100,000 to a half million people – while the city’s reputation as a cultural center grew across Europe. This boom in architecture, music, literature and the arts sparked the idea to create a center devoted to artists. Münchner Künstlerhaus opened in 1900. The ballroom became the venue for elaborate social events while the library and meeting rooms catered to gatherings, performances and exhibits among artists of every genre. The success of Künstlerhaus ebbed and flowed for the next century. In 2001, a foundation took control with the goal of reestablishing the original mission. They routinely sponsor concerts, readings, performances and art exhibits. Above the entrance is a centaur statue. The half-man, half-horse creature is from Greek mythology.