Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna

Because the city of Vienna and the institute known as the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna have such a long and fascinating history, we should probably fill you in on the changes and growth of the academy since 1692. Yes, that's right - 1692!!

The school began as a private academy, headed by court artist/painter Peter Strudl. He led this school for the next two decades but the academy closed in 1714 when Strudl died. After an 11 year hiatus, the Austrian emperor took steps to reopen the academy.

A reorganization in 1772 led to significant growth, allowing the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna to serve students for the next century. Emperor Franz Joseph proclaimed the school "the supreme government authority for the arts" in 1872. New construction led to even more growth.

Town hall (Rathaus) in Vienna, Austria Town hall (Rathaus) in Vienna, Austria

The academy suffered during World War II but found new life in the mid-1950s. The school has been recognized as a university for the past 13 years, though it retains its original title. Currently, the academy includes the Institute for Fine Arts, Institute for Art Theory and Cultural Studies, Institute for Conservation and Restoration, Institute for Natural Sciences and Technologies in Art, Institute for Secondary School Teaching Degrees and Institute for Art and Architecture.

Approximately 900 students attend the academy on a consistent basis. A massive library and huge drawing/print collection add to the attractiveness of this fine university. As the academy Website notes,

Fine art University statement of their website

The school strives to maintain a teacher student ratio of 1:6 to ensure quality instruction and personal attention for each student. One of the great strengths of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna is the international flavor of the teaching staff.


There are teachers from 50 different countries - now that is an international institute, isn't it?

According to information from the school, there are teachers from 50 different countries. The school offers state-of-the-art sound and video studios as well.

If you are not an Austrian native, don't worry. One fourth of the student body is made up of international students. In addition,

"The academy supports qualified students who have not got the private means to finance their studies by granting reduced study fees and scholarships."

In Detail

Educational objectives at the academy include:

  • the ability to turn concepts into projects
  • understanding designing work as a principle intrinsic to all areas of life
  • ability to apply artistic and designing techniques and production techniques.

But that's just the start!

Prospective students should know:

Admission to the Academy requires an entrance examination conducted by a board of examiners. It is held once a year and consists of the following parts:

a) Presentation and survey of candidates' portfolios with samples of visual art.

b) Art exam in the form of a test as proof of creative talents, completed by an interview.

Both parts of the entrance examination have to be completed successfully for a pass grade.

One of the key parts of the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna is the Center for Art/Knowledge Research, known on campus as CAK. This section

Key parts of Vienna's academy of fine arts

If you need even more incentive to consider this academy as a great place to study and learn, consider that the buildings of the university are impressive examples of art and architecture. The academy hosts numerous readings, dinners and presentations in addition to music/dance performances, all in an incredible setting.

Tuition costs and accommodation costs vary, depending on individual needs and desires. Contact a staff member at the academy to find out how you might benefit from studying at this fine school.

Contact Details

1010 Vienna, Schillerplatz 3
Phone: +43 (1) 588 16-1818
Fax: +43 (1) 588 16-1898