Academy of Fine Arts in Prague
The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague was established in 1799 by a decree passed by Emperor Franz I. The impetus for the creation of the Academy came from the “Society of Patriotic Art Lovers”, a philanthropic fellowship of enlightened aristocrats who had previously founded the Picture Gallery (today’s National Gallery) and thus laid the foundation for the preservation of individual artworks and collections, as well as for education in the arts. In 1925 the school became the first art school in Bohemia to acquire the status of a university. It gradually expanded its fields of study (in 1945, for example, the Art Conservation Department was opened), and in 1990 internal reforms led to multimedia disciplines becoming part of its programme.
For many years the Academy has had a relatively stable number of students (approximately 330). The ratio of students to lecturers in specialist ateliers is based on the individual requirements of teaching young talents. Special emphasis is put on theory and aesthetics, as well as on the teaching of crafts in individual workshops and many other courses within the framework of its Lifelong Learning Programme. It also has science and research departments, as well as a library, historical archive and its own gallery. The school is actively involved in international exchange programmes and has several long-term bilateral agreements concluded with traditional partners around the world. The independent Guest Professor Studio is part of this structure.
The Academy of Fine Arts is well placed to offer intensive, focused support for the development of talent. It has its own spacious north-facing historical ateliers with overhead lighting, as well as various technological workshops. It offers an individual approach and a clear system of teaching, within the framework of which it is possible transfer between ateliers and disciplines.
MgA. Tomáš Vaněk
Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague