In 1885, a committee was formed for the purpose of establishing a worthy memorial to the “greatest son” of the city. By the end of the 1890s, the fund amounted to 35,000 German marks. A competition was held, and Johannes Hartmann (1869 - 1952) emerged as the winner.
The monument was finally unveiled in 1901. The ceremony was attended by three of Schumann's daughters, several grandchildren and some of the composer's oldest friends such as Joseph Joachim and Carl Reinecke. The latter conducted the performance of a festival anthem that he had composed specially for the occasion. The monument has undergone several changes of location since then. In 1938, it was transferred to the square known at the time as Regierungsplatz, and in 1947 to the gardens of the Schwanenteich.
At the behest of the Robert Schumann Society, the monument was returned to its original location on Hauptmarkt (the main market square) in June 1993.