Adolf Obermüllner was born on September 3, 1833 in Wels. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and was a pupil of the landscape painter Franz Steinfeld. His studies led him to Holland, Italy, and France. After studying, Obermüllner settled in Munich and Richard Zimmermann took him under his wings in his studio. In 1860 he returned to Vienna.
The Austrian Alpine Association hired Obermüller in 1861 for an alpine and glacier expedition. The main tasks of this excursion was to keep a diary with photographs and drawings. Adolf Obermüllner died on 29 October 1898 in Vienna.