Hamburg University of Fine Arts

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Hamburg University of Fine Arts
founding 1767
Sponsorship state
place HamburgHamburg Hamburg
country GermanyGermany Germany
president Martin Köttering
Students 850 WS 2015/16

The Hamburg University of Fine Arts (HFBK Hamburg) is a state art university in Hamburg . The HFBK Hamburg is an artistic and scientific university where a degree in the fine arts and its theories is completed.


Partial view of the school building
Entrance area
sculptor Richard Luksch
Courtyard side

Selection process

Of more than 1,600 applicants, 130 are admitted to the course in the annual selection process. In the 2015/16 academic year, 850 students were enrolled at the HFBK Hamburg. Number of graduates per academic year: 101 (2010/11), 111 (2011/12), 147 (2012/13), 147 (2013/14), 143 (2014/15), 166 (2015/16).


In the winter semester of 2008/09, the consecutive Bachelor / Master course in Fine Arts was introduced instead of the previous diploma courses. This interdisciplinary course includes all artistic and scientific subjects represented at the HFBK. All matriculated students study the fine arts ; it is up to the students to decide whether to combine different areas of study or to concentrate on a single one. This should allow them to develop an individual artistic and / or scientific profile. The study periods amount to 4 academic years (8 semesters) for the bachelor's degree and 2 academic years (4 semesters) for the following master's degree. Since 2008, the HFBK in the way of awarding doctoral the title of Dr. phil. in art. (Doctor philosophiae in artibus). In January 2015, the Graduate School Aesthetics of the Virtual started its work at the HFBK.

Major fields of study

It is up to the students to decide whether to combine different majors or to concentrate on a single one.

  • sculpture
  • Stage design | stage space
  • design
  • Movie
  • Graphics / typography / photography
  • Painting / drawing
  • Theory and history
  • Time-related media

The architecture course was spun off in 2006 by merging all Hamburg architecture courses (HFBK, TU , HAW ) into the newly founded HafenCity University Hamburg.


The HFBK is very committed to promoting the internationalization of the university and its students. In addition to the appointment of internationally or internationally experienced and renowned professors, it emphatically promotes the international exchange of students. The large number of partner universities within the framework of the EU-funded Erasmus exchange program enable a high level of international mobility. Since 2010, the Art School Alliance (ASA), initiated jointly with the Alfred Toepfer Foundation FVS , has been driving this forward beyond the European framework. The scholarship program enables up to 18 international art students per year to live and work together in a former factory loft for one semester as part of a scholarship free of charge and without tuition fees. In return, up to 18 HFBK students go to the partner universities for one semester each year without having to pay tuition fees there. The current partners within the Art School Alliance:

public events

Many HFBK events are open to the public. In addition to regular symposia, lectures, performance nights and film screenings, especially the three major annual exhibition dates: the graduate exhibition (beginning of July), the annual exhibition with semester papers by all students (in February) and the Hiscox art prize exhibition at the opening of the academic Year (in October). During the semester, the exhibition presentations allow the curated teams of students changing gallery HFBK and the regular Tuesday night held exhibition series following the artistic exchange within the university as well as with external visitors.


In 1767 the Hamburg trade school was founded by the Patriotic Society . In 1896 it became the State School of Applied Arts , and later the State Art School . The main building at Lerchenfeld 2 in the Hamburg district of Uhlenhorst was built by the architect Fritz Schumacher between 1911 and 1913 especially for the art school. During the Nazi era , teachers like Karl Schneider who did not conform to the regime were forced to give up teaching. During this time, the name was changed to Hansische Hochschule für bildende Künste , but without granting university status. After the Second World War , it started teaching again in 1945 as a state art school under the former professor of the Cologne factory schools Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann , who came from Hamburg . After Ahlers-Hestermann's retirement, the architect Gustav Hassenpflug was chosen as his successor. From 1952, Hassenpflug installed a guest lecturer class, the results of which he documented. In addition, he operated the conversion of the state art school into the "University of Fine Arts Hamburg". Since 1970 it has also had the status of an artistic and scientific university. In the 1980s, the diploma, a degree for visual artists, was introduced, which was converted into a consecutive Bachelor and Master system in the course of internationalization efforts in 2008.

The introduction of general tuition fees in Hamburg in July 2007 also led to massive protests and a boycott of tuition fees by a large number of students at the HFBK Hamburg. The students justified their protest with the financial insecurity of their desired professions. In September 2011, the now SPD-ruled Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg decided to abolish tuition fees at all Hamburg universities for the 2012/13 winter semester, and in December 2011 the Hamburg citizenship followed suit. "Tuition fees are socially unjust and have now become obsolete in Germany," said Dorothee Stapelfeldt (SPD), then Senator for Science, to the press.

History of women at the HFBK Hamburg: Studies

At the instigation of director Richard Meyer, who had been very committed to the admission of "women", women were allowed to attend courses selected for them at the university (at that time the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg) for the first time as "interns" in April 1907. In view of the fact that most academies did not allow women to study until the beginning of the Weimar Republic from 1919, the university was therefore open to female students relatively early. Quite a few took the opportunity to study artistic photography, painting or sculpture in addition to the applied subjects. There are prominent examples of this: Elise Blumann (née Schlie) or Marlene Moeschke-Poelzig , who later became the wife and cooperation partner of the architect Hans Poelzig, who studied sculpture with Richard Luksch from 1912 to 1917. Rejected as a woman at several academies, Anni Albers (née Fleischmann) studied before moving to the Bauhaus in 1922 a. a. with Friedrich Adler in Hamburg. Sophie Taeuber-Arp spent a guest semester here in the winter of 1912/13. From the 1920s onwards there were always students who became successful as artists or designers, such as Trude Petri , who was brought in as a designer at the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur Berlin (KPM) in 1929 after studying at the HFBK predecessor, for whom she u. a. In 1931, Urbino designed the coffee service that is still in production today .

History of women at the HFBK Hamburg: teaching

On October 1, 1909, Maria Brinckmann was hired as a teacher for art embroidery and thus as the first female teacher. She applied for the experimental establishment of a tapestry workshop, which she then managed. Overall, the textile techniques at the State School of Applied Arts were successfully developed economically on her initiative. From 1945 director Friedrich Ahlers-Hestermann hired Maria May as a lecturer for the textile design workshop. Maria May brought their inventory to Lerchenfeld herself - she was able to save her entire fabric printing workshop from the war. In 1955 she switched to the neighboring master school for fashion on Armgartstrasse as director.

From 1956 until her retirement in 1981, Margret Hildebrand taught as a professor of textile design at the HFBK Hamburg. Two years after her appointment as professor, she designed the carpet for the German Pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair in 1958, which then became a successful series product. From 1981 to 2000 Helke Sander was the first female professor for film. Barbara Martwich was the first professor in architecture in 1978, followed by Beata Huke-Schubert in 1984. Nevertheless, the composition of the college remained almost exclusively male for many decades, even when Adrienne Goehler took over the presidency in 1989 (until 2001) and with it became the first female president of a German art college. The change was slow, especially for the permanent professorships. In 1995 Silke Grossmann received a professorship for photography, in 2000 Pia Stadtbäumer became professor for sculpture. It was not until the 2000s that the ratio of male and female teachers was gradually brought into line. During Martin Köttering's tenure as President, new appointments from Hanne Loreck (2004), Michaela Ott (2005), Heike Mutter (2008), Jeanne Faust (2009), Jutta Koether (2010), Michaela Melián (2010), Marjetica Potrc ( 2011 to 2017), Angela Schanelec (2012), Bettina Uppenkamp (2017) and Angela Bulloch (2018), a large number of the corner professorships are held by outstanding artists and theoreticians. However, a tie has still not been reached.

The building on Lerchenfeld

The entrance area at Lerchenfeld
The wing of the building on the Uferstraße on the Eilbek Canal with houseboats
Czeschka window in the staircase hall

The current main building of the University of Fine Arts was built between 1911 and 1913 for the then Kunstgewerbeschule in Hamburg-Uhlenhorst at Lerchenfeld 2, which until then had its headquarters in the MKG building on Steintorplatz. The client was the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.

The building group in dark brick with its high mansard roofs placed by Fritz Schumacher in a prominent position on a waterfront at the Kuhmühlenteich, visible from afar, was intended to stand out from the other school buildings in the Hamburg state expressly through a “different, more festive character”.

The core is formed by a horseshoe-shaped facility on the Lerchenfeld with a "Zierhof" in front of it, separated from the street by a colonnade, which was originally entered through a small oval pavilion. From there you get to the main building on the right and enter the high, solemn and austere entrance hall. Here a room type developed in Schumacher's early villa buildings returns in an enhanced form: a rectangular high hallway that receives its light from an equally high group of windows on the narrow side. In the two-storey hall with an open staircase on the side, “the framework of the reinforced concrete construction” is deliberately left visible, with concrete parts chiseled on the surfaces.

The arrangement of the building wings on the angular property is based on their functions: The location and length of the horseshoe building, for example, made it possible to accommodate many studios on the rear facing away from the sun. The purpose of isolating the workshop wing to the east was to shield the studios and classes from machine noise and vibrations. The building has a basement, the ground floor and three upper floors.

Schumacher involved artists who taught at the arts and crafts school in the construction of this building. These were in particular Richard Luksch for relief figures inside and outside, Carl Otto Czeschka for the light-glass window Beauty as a message in the entrance hall and Willy von Beckerath with the imposing 44-meter-long and 4-meter-high mural cycle Die Ewige Welle in the auditorium and Johann Michael Bossard for the figural reliefs on the back of the jewelry courtyard, Friedrich Adler for the crowned tenons , Willi Titze for the mosaic of the pavilion and Hans Heller for the interior design of the reading room and the director's room.

Fritz Schumacher wrote in his memoirs, Stages of Life : “The staircase shows the construction forms as they emerge from the casing, the surfaces are then worked like stone surfaces with a chisel. The room is refined by the large window made of cut glass by Czeschka, which I still consider to be one of the best works that were created in Hamburg. All the other artists at the school also had their say on the building in some decorative piece, but unfortunately it was the only work on which I was allowed to employ them: I was forbidden to let construction funds flow to people who received a state salary (note .: as a teacher) related. One wanted to create a nursery for art, but they shied away from using it for social reasons. "

During the First World War, the building was used as a reserve hospital. A photo in the holdings of the Hamburg State Archives shows war wounded in 1915 in front of the Lerchenfeld State School of Applied Arts.

The mural Die Ewige Welle by Willy von Beckerath

The mural The Eternal Wave in the auditorium is considered to be Willy von Beckerath's main work . It consists of eight parts and symbolically shows the rise and fall of a cultural epoch. It was created between 1911 and 1918. In the past few years, around 2009, the painting was restored to its original colors in several stages. To mark the centenary of the HFBK building in 2013, the painting on the ceiling and wall of the auditorium was also exposed and restored. The artistic parquet floor was also renewed. The auditorium has now become perceptible again as a large-scale work of art.

Mural "The Eternal Wave" by Willy von Beckerath in the HFBK auditorium

Modifications since 1943

After the war damage and in accordance with the new requirements, major renovations have been carried out since 1943. "Some changes are to be interpreted as a real loss, some as a new layer that has added additional levels of meaning to the monument."

  • 1943 Destruction of the west building and studio wing
  • 1951–53 repair and expansion, Gustav Hassenpflug
  • 1954/55 Reconstruction of the attic of the east pavilion above the attic
  • 1962/63 Increase in the intermediate wing of Uferstrasse and remodeling of the director's room , Godber Nissen
  • 1970 Reinstallation of the glass windows by Carl Otto Czeschka in the hall
  • 1971 Entry in the list of monuments: entrance building, central hall, auditorium
  • 1972 Installation of galleries in the staggered floors of the west pavilion
  • 1973/74 conversion of the former boiler room in the studio wing into a metal workshop
  • 1988 Conversion of the etching workshop in the attic of the Uferstraße workshop building
  • 1992/93 redesign of the entrance area, Bernhard Winkung
  • 1994 Auditorium outside stairs, Bernhard Winking
  • 1994/95 Extension of the sculptor's studio, Holger Moths and students
  • 2009 Partial restoration of the monumental painting by Willy von Beckerath
  • 2012/13 Extensive wall, ceiling and floor restoration of the auditorium with its various decorative elements
  • 2015 Modernization of the library, conversion of the magazine to an open access area
  • 2016 Complete renovation and reconstruction of the cafeteria and porter's lodge

University professors

Former professors and visiting professors

Directors / Presidents since 1905

Former students

Teachers persecuted during the National Socialist era

Two stumbling blocks in the pavement in front of the main staircase of the University of Fine Arts remind of the teachers persecuted during the Nazi era . Friedrich Adler , who taught at the then arts and crafts school from 1907 until his forced retirement in 1933, was murdered in Auschwitz in 1942. Hugo Meier-Thur taught from 1910 to 1943 and was murdered in Fuhlsbüttel concentration camp in 1943 .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Yearbook 2015/16 of the HFBK Hamburg, Vol. 3, p. 16
  2. ^ Art School Alliance. University of Fine Arts, accessed June 1, 2017 .
  3. a b c d Susanne Harth: Frauenstudium. The workshop for handicrafts . In: Hartmut Franck (ed.): Northern lights. 222 years. The Hamburg University of Fine Arts at Lerchenfeld and its history . Hamburg 1989, p. 109-125 .
  4. ^ Sally Quin: Bauhaus on the Swan. Elise Blumann, an émigré artist in Western Australia 1938-1948 . UWA Publishing, 2015.
  5. a b c d e f g Archive of the HFBK Hamburg / Personalarchiv, further information on request via the archive of the HFBK
  6. a b c d e f g h i j website of the HFBK Hamburg. Retrieved February 12, 2019 .
  7. Yearbook 2017-18 of the HFBK Hamburg: data . Hamburg, S. 454 .
  8. HFBK, History of the Building
  9. University of Fine Arts Hamburg: Prospectus for the 2015 annual exhibition with floor plans.
  10. Bettina Berendes: Carl Otto Czeschka - Beauty as a message. The stained glass window of the Hamburg School of Applied Arts. Kiel 2005
  11. ^ Family von Beckerath, family website
  12. HFBK - Newsletter - Issue 52 - December 2008
  13. HFBK, History of the Building
  14. ^ Fritz Schumacher: stages of life , 1934, p. 298 f
  15. ^ Photo in the Hamburg State Archives
  16. Cf. HFBK, press release, »Die Ewige Welle« from the roll back onto the wall
  17. from: Frank P. Hesse in Fritz Schumacher. Hamburg State Buildings 1909-1919 / 21 A listed inventory . Pp. 203-209 - Christians-Verlag, 1905
  18. John Burgan in the English language Wikipedia
  19. ^ Franz Weisse 1878–1952 - see catalog MKG-Hamburg
  20. ^ Gustav Hassenpflug: History of the art school in Hamburg . Heinrich Ellermann publishing house, Hamburg 1956.
  21. Ricarda Albers: A manic collector - and a contentious spirit (obituary for Carl Vogel). In: Hamburger Abendblatt. February 7, 2006, accessed on February 14, 2019 (German).
  22. ^ Stumbling blocks in front of the art college. Commemoration at Lerchenfeld. In: Hohenfelder and Uhlenhorster Rundschau, No. 3/2009, p. 14

Web links

Commons : University of Fine Arts Hamburg  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 53 ° 34 '3.3 "  N , 10 ° 1' 52.8"  E