University of Graphics and Book Art Leipzig

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University of Graphics and Book Art / Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig
founding February 6, 1764
Sponsorship state
place Coat of arms of Leipzig, svg Leipzig
state SaxonySaxony Saxony
country GermanyGermany Germany
Rector Thomas Locher
Students 602 (WS 2017/18)
HGB exterior view, Wächterstrasse 11

The Academy of Fine Arts Leipzig ( HGB ) in Leipzig , founded in 1764, is one of the oldest state art universities in Germany. Approx. 600 students are currently studying painting / graphics , book art / graphic design , photography and media art in the four courses . In addition, a master's degree in Curatorial Cultures was founded in 2009 . This continuing education course is unique in this form in Germany and combines application-oriented research practice with scientific reflection. In 2014 it celebrated its 250th anniversary together with the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, which was founded at the same time .


On February 6, 1764, Prince Franz Xaver of Saxony founded as administrator for his nephew, the still underage Elector of Saxony Friedrich August III. (1750–1827), an academy for painting in Leipzig, which he subordinated to the art academy in Dresden . The painter Adam Friedrich Oeser , who held this office for 35 years until his death in 1799, was appointed founding director .

This academy was opened in the autumn of 1764 in the Leipziger Amtshaus . In the summer of 1765 it moved to the west wing (so-called academy wing) of the electoral Pleißenburg (now the New Town Hall ). From autumn 1765 the law student Johann Wolfgang Goethe was one of Oeser's very interested drawing students, and both remained lifelong connected even after this training phase. The institution later expanded to become a drawing, painting and architecture academy (art academy).

Around 1835 the institution was called the Academy of Fine Arts . In addition to the director there was a teacher of architecture and two teachers of free hand drawing. Lessons were free at the time.

In 1863 the architecture department was dissolved, the remaining departments were reorganized in 1871. In the following 30 years under the direction of Ludwig Nieper , further radical structural changes were carried out at the academy.From 1876 the institution was called the Royal Art Academy and School of Applied Arts . In 1893 a department for photographic reproduction processes was newly established by Nieper, which contributed to a later focus of the academy. As a result, Nieper closed the department for architectural arts and crafts in 1894 and the department for sculpture in 1896 . During this period, however, the construction of a new building of its own for the academy at Wächterstrasse 11 in the center of Leipzig, which is used for the original purpose by the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB) until the present day . Since Ludwig Nieper also became the founding director of the Leipzig Municipal Trade School in 1875 , he had the new school building built next to it at Wächterstraße 13, which is also used today as a school building by the University of Technology, Economics and Culture (HTWK) ( Wiener-Bau ).

In 1900, towards the end of Ludwig Nieper's directorate, the Leipzig Academy was converted into the Royal Academy for the Graphic Arts and Book Industry.

In 1905 the academy was the first art school to accept women for study; In 1913 there were more women than men among the students.

After the dissolution of the Kingdom of Saxony and the formation of the Free State of Saxony , the Leipzig Academy was renamed the State Academy for Graphic Arts and Book Industry . In the summer semester of 1938 286 students studied at the art academy. This made it the third largest art school in the German Empire after Vienna (1,005 students) and Berlin (309 students) .

Young people in 1956 on a tour of the university

On April 26, 1947, the facility was opened under Kurt Massloff with a new orientation in the traditional academy building at Wächterstrasse 11. From 1946 to 1949 Walter Arnold was a professor at the university. The name Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst (HGB) established itself from 1950. From 1951 Albert Kapr taught as a professor for type and book design. Due to the style that is known as the Leipzig School in art history , the HGB gained extensive national and international attention, which is particularly connected to Wolfgang Mattheuer , Bernhard Heisig , Werner Tübke , Arno Rink , Sighard Gille and others. a.

The Saxon University Structure Act of April 10, 1992 confirmed the University of Graphic and Book Art in Leipzig, while other Leipzig universities were dissolved or merged after the fall of the Wall .

Among art critics worldwide, the HGB is one of the most important German art schools for painting and graphics (as of 2008). The so-called New Leipzig School within painting contributed significantly to this status . Its most important representative is the painter Neo Rauch , who studied at the university and later led a master class there as a professor.


Lecturers and Professors (selection)

Well-known graduates (selection)

Partner universities

Web links

Commons : University of Graphics and Book Art Leipzig  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Willy Oskar Dressler (Ed.): Dressler's Art Yearbook , 7th year. Rostock 1913, p. 327f.
  2. ^ Association of graphic designers of the GDR and Lower Saxony Ministry for Federal and European Affairs: P40. Posters from the GDR , Berlin 1990, p. 76, ISBN 978-3-8758-5184-7 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 20 ′ 0.3 ″  N , 12 ° 22 ′ 4.2 ″  E