Adolf Münzer was the son of a lawyer and notary, after the early death of his father he grew up in Wroclaw from 1876 , where he first attended the Matthias Gymnasium and in 1886 began training with the decorative painter Georg Heintze. Then he attended the art and trade school in Breslau . His teachers there were Heinrich Irmann , Paul Schobelt and Albrecht Bräuer . In 1894 he began studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Karl Raupp and Otto Seitz . After military service, he joined Paul Hoecker's painting classone who especially took on outdoor painting. In 1896 a master workshop was set up for him there.
In 1898 he was one of the two prize winners in Ludwig Stollwerck's first competition for designs for Stollwerck collectibles . The judges were Emil Doepler the Elder . J., Woldemar Friedrich , Bruno Schmitz and Franz Skarbina . The prize money for him and Oskar Zwintscher was 1,000 marks each .
From 1899 Münzer exhibited his works in the Munich Glass Palace as a member of the Scholle artist group . In this context he also worked for the Munich weekly magazine Jugend and the Simplicissimus . After a period of painting in Paris from 1900 to 1902, he initially returned to Munich. In 1903 Münzer met Marie Therese Dreeßen born in Munich . von Vestenhof (1878–1958). When he exhibited nudes of her in 1907, including the picture in front of the mirror , in the Brakl Gallery, an uproar ensued, as a result of which Dreeßen's husband divorced and Münzer married her a year later.
In 1909 Münzer became head of a painting class at the Düsseldorf Art Academy , where he held a teaching post until 1932. The painter Georg Oeder and the art dealer Eduard Schulte had recruited him on behalf of the academy director Fritz Roeber . A short time later, he designed the wall and ceiling paintings in the plenary meeting room of the Düsseldorf district government . In 1915 he worked as a war painter at the front and in 1917 volunteered for the First World War , but was not deployed.
In 1938 the Münzer family moved from Düsseldorf to Holzhausen am Ammersee .
Before the Second World War, paintings by Münzer were in the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne, the Städtisches Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf and the collection of the Kunstverein Basel. Between 1938 and 1944 Münzer took an active part in the Great German Art Exhibitions initiated by the National Socialists in the House of German Art in Munich , where he exhibited a total of five works, including a female nude, which he sold to Adolf Hitler for 3500 Reichsmarks . In 1950 he put thirty paintings at the Munich artists' cooperative out.
A narrative style was expressed in his graphics. Among other things, his fairy tale illustrations for the Scholz publishing house in Mainz became famous. Adolf Münzer was a member of the German Association of Artists .