Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg

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Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg
founding 1662
Sponsorship state
place Nuremberg
state Bavaria
country Germany
president Holger Felten
Students 316 WS 2018/19
Employee 61
including professors 19th
Seal of the Directorium of the KB Kunstgewerbeschule in Nuremberg

The Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg is a state art college in Nuremberg that was founded in 1662 as the first art academy in German-speaking countries. With around 320 students, it is one of the smaller universities in Germany and, with its courses of study, fine art, graphic design / visual communication, fine art / gold and silversmiths, art education, teaching art at grammar school and artistic activity in public spaces (post grad .) various study options in the free and applied field.


The Nuremberg Academy of Fine Arts was founded in 1662 by the councilor Joachim Nutzel von Sündersbühl , the copper engraver Jacob von Sandrart and the architect Elias von Gedeler (1620–1693), making it the oldest art academy in German-speaking countries.

In 1674, after a few changes of location, the academy was housed in a room in the former Franciscan monastery. In 1699 the academy was recognized as an institution of the imperial city and placed under the supervision of the building authority. In the same year, the engraver and astronomer Georg Christoph Eimmart was given management and the move to St. Catherine's Monastery . The main areas of study were life drawing and the study of antiquities. Based on the model of the Paris Protectorate Constitution, the City Council issued the "Regulations at the Painting Academy" in 1704.

After the death of Georg Christoph Eimmart, Johann Daniel Preissler became director of the academy from 1705 to 1737 . In 1716 he founded the drawing school for craft apprentices, attendance of which was free and from 1766 mandatory for apprentices of the building trade. In the following years the management of the academy was taken over by Johann Martin Schuster from 1737 to 1738, from 1738 to 1742 by Paul Decker and from 1742 to 1771 by Johann Justin Preissler. In 1788, under the direction of the director Johann Eberhard Ihle, conflicts arose over the organization of the academy, which were discussed publicly.

After the end of the imperial city period in 1806, the academy became an institution of the Kingdom of Bavaria . In the years from 1813 to 1817, under the direction of Albert Christoph Reindel , it was relocated to the Hertelshof on Paniersplatz and in 1818 to the Nuremberg Castle . From 1835 to 1897, the School of Applied Arts and parts of the municipal art collection were located in the premises of the Landauer Twelve Brothers House . In 1897, the School of Applied Arts moved into a spacious neo-renaissance building specially designed for it by Professor Conradin Walther in Bottlehofstrasse.

In order to promote Munich as a city of art, the Bavarian King Ludwig I downgraded the Nuremberg Academy to an art school. The curriculum was expanded to include lessons in oil painting and some lectures in architecture were given; however, it was no longer possible to train architects. Since then, the art school has served as a training institute for traditional Nuremberg trades, especially for the graphic arts and porcelain and tin painting.

From 1853, under the direction of August von Kreling (1853–1874), the arts and crafts school and the curriculum were reformed with great success. The Nuremberg School of Applied Arts was considered exemplary for other institutions in Germany.

In 1823 plaster casts of the Aeginetes from the legacy of Carl Haller von Hallerstein were added to the study collection. In the following decades the school was renamed several times: in 1833 in "Applied Arts School", in 1928 in "State School for Applied Arts". In 1940, under the direction of Hermann Gradl, the elevation to the "Academy of Fine Arts in the city of the Nazi party rallies" took place. In 1943, the academy building in Bottle Hofstrasse was bombed and the academy relocated to the Teutonic Order Castle in Ellingen . Some politically charged professors were suspended after the Second World War and the academy was renamed the “Academy of Fine Arts”.

Entrance to the Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg, architect: Sep Ruf

In the post-war years from 1945 to 1948, Max Körner was temporarily entrusted with the management until Fritz Griebel was appointed director. In 1954 the academy moved into the new buildings designed by Sep Ruf in Bingstrasse, in the wooded area between Mögeldorf and Zerzabelshof , at the Nuremberg zoo . The transparent pavilion architecture is the first listed post-war architecture in southern Germany. Ruf's new building, in which natural and architectural spaces merge, is one of the few jewels of early German post-war architecture alongside the Berlin Philharmonic.

In relation to subjects such as silver and goldsmith's art, interior design, textile art, applied painting and commercial graphics, the liberal arts painting, sculpture and graphics had equal weight.

In 1960 the presidential constitution was introduced and formal equality with the Munich Academy was achieved. Art teacher exams have been held in Nuremberg since 1973. In 1985, the art education department moved to the Wenzel Castle in Lauf an der Pegnitz and forms the branch office for student teachers. In 2010, the Bavarian state parliament approved the expansion of the Nuremberg buildings, so that the academy was able to give up the castle as a branch in 2013. The design for the extension to the academy comes from the Berlin architectural office Hascher Jehle Architektur and was completed in April 2013.

Violent criticism of the 2001 plan to give up the interior design class resulted in the conversion of the full course into a postgraduate course with an international degree.

Ottmar Hörl was the Academy President from 2005 until his retirement in 2017 . At that time he succeeded Ulla Mayer and Karlheinz Lüdeking .

In July 2011, an art historian conference was held at the Academy of Fine Arts in preparation for the 350th anniversary of its existence. The conference "The Academy of Fine Arts in the City of the Nazi Party Rallies" examined u. a. the interweaving of the academy's teachers with the National Socialist regime and the extent to which artistic work was beneficial to the regime. Participants were u. a. Hans Ottomeyer , Birgit Schwarz, Doris Gerstl, Thomas Heyden, Frank Matthias Kammel .

In 2012 the Academy of Fine Arts celebrated its 350th anniversary. To mark the anniversary, the devoted Painting and Sculpture Collection of the City Museums, the early days of the Nuremberg Academy of Fine Arts, a special exhibition (May 16 to September 2 in the town museum , it seemed to an extensive, scholarly catalog). The exhibition "Geartete Kunst" in the Documentation Center Nazi Party Rally Grounds was dedicated to the time of the academy in the 1940s, the exhibitions "return" and "b.east" showed graduates since 1980 and students from Nuremberg in cooperation with other art schools on AEG. The exhibition "Curtain up ..." presented the 14 classes and postgraduate courses in the New Museum in Nuremberg . The highlight of the anniversary year was a ceremony in the State Theater in Nuremberg .

With the exhibition hall and the Academy Gallery Nuremberg, the Academy of Fine Arts has both a spacious exhibition room at the main building and gallery rooms in the city center of Nuremberg.

In 2017, graphic designer Holger Felten was elected President of the Academy by the University Council.


Auditorium of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, architect: Sep Ruf

In 1954 the Academy moved into the first building designed by Sep Ruf (1908–1982), which was originally designed for 150 students. The transparent pavilion architecture successfully combines all studios, workshops and central facilities such as library, cafeteria and administration. After the training was expanded to include art education in particular, the lack of space could only be remedied with an alternative accommodation in the Kaiserburg in Lauf and so the academy with its almost 300 students has been housed in two locations since 1985. With a view to greater synergies and efficiency in training, the planning for a new building next to the Ruf's pavilion architecture was started and completed in spring 2013.

During the Second World War, the academy was moved from Nuremberg to Ellingen . The university was still located in Ellingen Castle in 1947 when Sep Ruf was appointed professor of architecture and urban planning. The established architect was known for his light-flooded buildings that faced the sun and blended harmoniously into the surrounding landscape. Sep Ruf won the architectural competition for the new academy building on the eastern outskirts of Nuremberg, which was announced in the spring of 1950 . However, the start of construction was delayed by two years and so the first phase of construction was not completed until June 1954. The academy was able to inaugurate and move into the first part of the new building. In 1956 the Ruf'schen Pavilions on Bingstrasse were finally completed, so that the university could return to Nuremberg.

Auditorium and library of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, architect: Sep Ruf

Sep Ruf's design for the new building for the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg shows the characteristic language of his later work for the first time: lightness of appearance, minimized construction, transparent walls and slim roofs. The building anticipates the concept of the German Pavilion for the 1958 World Exhibition in Brussels (1956–1958), which Ruf carried out together with Egon Eiermann , and which brought him international recognition.

Ruf's later works with his partner, the designer Wilhelm Schaupp (1922–2005) included a. a. the residential and reception building of the Federal Chancellor in Bonn ( Chancellor's Bungalow , 1963–1964), a mature work in proportion and detail. Sep Ruf became the dominant Munich architect of the 1950s and 1960s and left behind an extensive body of work of residential buildings, buildings for administration, education, offices and representation. In 1971 he founded an office partnership with four colleagues (Alfred Goller, Helmut Mayer, Hanns Oberberger, Ludwig Thomeier), which was continued after his death.

Complementary extension

The renowned architects Hascher Jehle Architektur designed the extension to the Nuremberg Academy after a limited open competition in spring 2009. After almost two years of construction, the building was put into operation in the 2013 summer semester. Thus, for the first time, the courses in fine and applied arts, art education and postgraduate courses are combined in one location.

The art academy on the outskirts of Nuremberg is surrounded by wooded landscape areas, into which the single-storey, listed building from the 1950s by Sep Ruf is harmoniously integrated. At a respectful distance from the existing buildings, the extension rounds off the entire area and creates the new campus with a calm architectural formulation.

An elongated, single-storey structure was created along Bingstrasse, which, with its openings and the roof floating above, stands in the architectural context of the existing buildings. The new studios and seminar rooms are positioned in three separate pavilions under one roof landscape. The center of the new facility is the so-called communication pavilion with a room for large-format, interdisciplinary work, a picture store and multifunctional room with a stage and cinema. The entrance and at the same time the new access to the site is an open courtyard. From here, the students can access the adjoining studio and seminar rooms. The art pedagogue's studios are located in the west of the new building; they are grouped around an inner courtyard and - in analogy to the Ruf's studio pavilions - connected to one another via an open, covered corridor. In the third part of the building, on the other side of the “communication pavilion”, the seminar rooms are also arranged around a courtyard. However, the corridors are located in the building and are separated from the inner courtyard by large glass facades. The horizontally continuous roof landscape is made possible by the natural slope of the site despite the different room heights.

The materiality in particular supports the workshop character of the new building. Exposed concrete surfaces alternate with glass surfaces and closed sheet steel elements and thus form the outer shell of the building. Due to the movable sliding elements made of expanded metal, which are placed in front of the glass facades as sun protection, the appearance of the facade changes depending on its positioning. In this way, the new building deliberately sets itself apart from the Ruf buildings in terms of its materials and surface properties.

As the new building extends parallel to the historic pavilions and along the street, it develops a new view of Sep Ruf's architecture. Lines of sight and paths connect the two buildings, revealing both architectural analogies and individualities. Together they form a campus that follows Sep Ruf's democratic and logical architectural idea.

Directors / Presidents

Course offer

Subjects / artistic classes

Art related sciences

Postgraduate course


  • Bronze casting
  • Digital workshop
  • photography
  • Gypsum foundry
  • Gold and silversmiths
  • interactive media
  • Lithography and screen printing
  • Painting technique
  • Media laboratory
  • Metal and welding technology
  • Carpentry and model making
  • Gravure and etching

University partnerships

Well-known former students and professors





















  • Günter Voglsamer (1967–1984), Professor of Great Composition and Wall Painting; (1975–1984), President of the Academy
  • Georg Vogt (1881–1956), (1911–1948) Academy professor



Honorary Senators and Honorary Members

Honorary senators

Honorary members


  • Andrea M. Kluxen: The history of the art academy in Nuremberg 1662-1998. In: Yearbook for Franconian State Research. 59: 167-207 (1999).
  • Edith Luther: Academy of Fine Arts . In: Michael Diefenbacher , Rudolf Endres (Hrsg.): Stadtlexikon Nürnberg . 2nd, improved edition. W. Tümmels Verlag, Nuremberg 2000, ISBN 3-921590-69-8 ( online ).
  • Franz Winzinger (Red.): 1662–1962, Three Hundred Years of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg . Nuremberg 1962.
  • Christian Demand : The Art Academy. A management report. In: Mercury . Issue 09/10 / September 2011, p. 933.
  • Matthias Henkel, Ursula Kubach-Reutter (Eds.): 1662–1806. The early days of the Nuremberg Art Academy. An exhibition of the painting and sculpture collection of the museums of the city of Nuremberg in the city museum Fembohaus. Nuremberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-940594-42-6 .
  • Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg (ed.): Geartete Kunst: The Nuremberg Academy in National Socialism , Nuremberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86984-375-9
  • Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg (Ed.): 350: Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, Nuremberg 2012, ISBN 978-3-86984-351-3

Web links

Commons : Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Federal Statistical Office: Number of students by type of university, state and university, WS 2012/13, pp. 66–113 (accessed on November 3, 2013)
  2. Cf. Georg von Schuh: The city of Nuremberg in the anniversary year 1906 . Contributions to the history and culture of the city of Nuremberg. Nuremberg 1906, p. 154 .
  3. Kurt Pilz:  Kreling, August von. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 12, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1980, ISBN 3-428-00193-1 , p. 745 ( digitized version ).
  4. (link not available)
  6. ^ Vita Rainer Beck on the homepage of the Dresden University of Fine Arts , accessed on November 7, 2011.
  7. ^ Page on the person of Karlheinz Lüdeking on the homepage of the UdK Berlin ( memento from February 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on February 7, 2016.
  8. ^ Report on Ulla Mayer in the Nürnberger Nachrichten , accessed on November 7, 2011.
  9. ( Memento from February 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  10. a b cf. Georg von Schuh: The city of Nuremberg in the anniversary year 1906 . Contributions to the history and culture of the city of Nuremberg. Nuremberg 1906, p. 362 .

Coordinates: 49 ° 26 ′ 45.7 "  N , 11 ° 8 ′ 11.3"  E