Free Academy of Arts in Hamburg

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The Free Academy of the Arts in Hamburg eV is a non-profit artists' association. This was founded in 1950 and today comprises the sections architecture, visual arts, performing arts, literature, media and music. As the only one of the academies of the arts, it has the group of supporting members. Its president has been the journalist, literary critic and author Ulrich Greiner since 2011 . Vice-president is Ullrich Schwarz, former managing director of the Hamburg Chamber of Architects and professor for architectural theory at HafenCity University Hamburg .

Unlike other academies of the arts, the Hamburg Free Academy of the Arts is not anchored in the state constitution, not a corporation under public law, but a privately owned, registered association.


The main tasks of the academy are - as it says in its statutes -

  • promote popular education in the arts,
  • to take a position on questions of intellectual and artistic life,
  • to develop public effectiveness,
  • To represent the freedom and claim of art vis-à-vis the state and society.

The main means of doing this are

  • the implementation of public cultural events,
  • the issuing of publications,
  • the formulation of cultural policy statements, information and advice.

The academy is also a forum for artists to exchange ideas with one another and across the boundaries of disciplines. Its members are writers, poets, composers, musicians, singers, painters, sculptors, architects, actors, dancers and directors. You - the artists - determine the conception and essentially take on the events of the academy: exhibitions, concerts, discussion events, lectures, workshop discussions, readings. A strict selection system ensures quality.

The academy also annually awards members of the academy “who have distinguished themselves in an extraordinary way through their artistic work” an undoped honorary plaque, whose recipients include Thomas Mann , Siegfried Lenz , Max Brod , Günter Grass , Christa Wolf and Uwe Timm .


The first efforts to establish an Academy of the Arts in Hamburg after the Second World War go back to 1948. However, the founding date is 1950, when the association was entered in the association register. Major founding members were u. a. Rolf Italiaander , Alfred Mahlau , Hans Erich Nossack and Gustav Oelsner . However, the author Hans Henny Jahnn acted as initiator, spiritus rector and ultimately also as founding president (1950–1959) . Other presidents were Werner Hebebrand (1960–1966), Wilhelm Maler (1967–1971), Godber Nissen (1972–1980), and Armin Sandig (August 1980– July 2011).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Artists honor Uwe Timm and Burkhart Klaußner on, August 31, 2017, accessed on September 1, 2017