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Aerial image of the Academy of Fine Arts Munich

The Academy of Fine Arts, Munich (German: Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, also known as Munich Academy) is one of the oldest and most significant art academies in Germany. It is located in the Maxvorstadt district of Munich, in Bavaria, Germany.

In the second half of the 19th century, the academy became one of the most important institutions in Europe for training artists and attracted students from across Europe and the United States.[1]


The history of the academy goes back to 1770 with the founding by Elector Maximilian III. Joseph, of a "drawing school", the "Zeichnungs Schule respective Maler und Bildhauer Academie". In 1808, under King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria, it became the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The curriculum focused was on painting, graphics, sculpture and architecture.[2]

The Munich School refers to a group of painters who worked in Munich or were trained at the Academy between 1850 and 1918. The paintings are characterized by a naturalistic style and dark chiaroscuro. Typical painting subjects included landscape, portraits, genre, still-life, and history. Karl von Piloty, the foremost representative of the realistic school in Germany, became director in 1874.[3]

From 1900 to 1918 the academy's director was Ferdinand Freiherr von Miller.[4] During the Second World War, Hitler replaced the academy’s “non-Aryan” professors with Nazi artists.[2] In 1946, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts was merged with the School of arts and crafts and the School of applied arts. In 1953, its name was changed to the current Academy of Fine Arts.


Renaissance Revival style facade (1886).
Deconstructivist expansion, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au (2005).

The large 19th-century Renaissance Revival style building complex, designed by Gottfried Neureuther, was completed in 1886. It has housed the Academy since then.[2]

A new Deconstructivist style expansion, designed by the architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au as an extension from the original building, was completed in 2005.[5]

The AkademieGalerie (gallery of the academy) is located at the nearby subway station Universität. Since 1989 students could show artworks especially created for this location.[6]


The study at the Academy is organized in class associations. Overall, the Academy accommodates twenty-three classes, led by professors, who each stand for an individual approach to contemporary fine art. These classes are complemented by twenty study workshops and a library, as well as seminars and lectures in art science, philosophy and didactics.[7]

The following study programs are offered:


Notable professors

Notable students

Panoramic view of the 1886 Academy of Fine Arts building
Panoramic view of the 1886 Academy of Fine Arts building

See also


  1. ^ Fuhrmeister, Christian. 2010. American Artists in Munich: Artistic Migration and Cultural Exchange Processes.
  2. ^ a b c "Akademie der Bildenden Künste", Landeshauptstadt München
  3. ^ Norman, Geraldine, Nineteenth-Century Painters and Painting: A Dictionary. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978. p. 167 ISBN 0-520-03328-0
  4. ^ Peter Volk (1994), "Ferdinand von Miller", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 17, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 516–517; (full text online)
  5. ^ Bachmann, Wolfgang. "Erweiterung der Kunstakademie" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2018. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Akademie der Bildenden Künste München – AkademieGalerie". (in German). Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Informationen zum Studium". Akademie der Bildenden Künste München.
  8. ^ "American fashion : the life and lines of Adrian, Mainbocher, McCardell, Norell, and Trigère", Fashion Institute of Technology (New York, N.Y.) at, accessed 3 July 2024
  9. ^ "Oskar Garvens", Netherlands Institute for Art History at, accessed 8 July 2023
  10. ^ "03608 Robert Raudner", Matrikelbücher, Akademie der Bildenden Künste München. Retrieved 5 January 2020
  11. ^ Doornbusch, Esther (23 January 2019). "Barbara Seidenath". Hedendaagse sieraden (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 June 2021.

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