THE PERMANENT GALLERY displays Norwegian artwork ranging from the time of JC Dahl to the present day. Within ten separately colored rooms, small historical art environments have been created. One room is dedicated to work from Hans Heyerdahl. The Drammen Museum has a large collection of Heyerdahl art with some of his major works, including Bathing Boys and Fisher Boy (mid 1880s). Another room displays old European artwork (still-life, landscapes and portraits from the 1700s), one is devoted to the national romantic style (IC Dahl and Hans Gude), while works from time spent in Dusseldorf and Munich lead to the French-inspired naturalism in yet another room. The museum has exquisite works from Zartmann and Matisse students (Harald Sohlberg, Thorvald Erichsen and Henrik Sørensen), as well as a room devoted to the 1920s and the art deco and new objectivity styles from the time between the world wars (Maurice de Vlaminck, Torstein Torsteinson and Roar Matheson Bye). In yet another room, one can view paintings with themes from work and life in the city and on the farms. Finally, highlights from the museum's collections of modern art (Gunnar S. Gundersen, Ole M. Bakken, Bard Brodersen and Jacob Schmidt) are displayed, as well as Scandinavian design in glass, ceramics and enameled metals.
The museum has strived to present the work in meaningful cultural contexts. The design of the displays and settings was done by Asmund Thorkildsen and the aim is that the works of art are displayed in a way that focuses on their aesthetic qualities. The new displays are accompanied by texts that easily communicate the main features of Norwegian art history as it can be experienced at the Drammen Museum.