Discover Germany | Issue 11 | February 2014

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Discover Germany | Feature | University of Fine Arts Dresden

Where art comes first This February the renowned University of Fine Arts Dresden celebrates its 250th anniversary.

Top left, main image: Dresden Academy of Fine Arts Above, left: Original deed of foundation. Photo: HfBK Dresden archives Above, right: Christian Ludwig von Hagedorn, silhouette from a collection of 64 etchings and a pencil drawing, 1743-45. Photo: HfBK Dresden archives Above: Lecture room, plastic anatomy. Photo: Max Fischer / HfBK Dresden archives


Founded in 1764 the University of Fine Arts Dresden has kept its original charm. The various historic buildings form a fundamental part of the learning experience for a diverse mix of around 650 students. Each building has its own inspiring character, providing a positive influence on students and teachers alike. But it is not only the remarkable environment that makes the university special. With a wide range of courses to choose from, students can hand-pick the courses that most appeal to them, whether they yearn for a career on the stage or behind an easel. The university’s restoration course is particularly well known for its outstanding quality. A long and impressive list of famous lecturers and alumni who have shaped the university over the centuries includes Canaletto, Caspar David Friedrich, Gottfried Semper, Curt Schwitters, Otto Dix and Oskar Kokoscha, to name just a few.

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The 250th anniversary, however, is far more than mere self-celebration as the university aspires to do more than simply shine in the light of history. The extensive anniversary program will last a year and starts with a grand exhibition opening on 6 February. Director Matthias Flügge explains the premise of the anniversary exhibition:“For us it is important to use the anniversary as a platform to make our work more public and engage in a discussion about art and teaching. Here art is created in the present, hence we have a contemporary perspective on history. But because we are equally aware of the significance historical processes bear, we invited students to artistically engage with different aspects of history. Of course we will also show some historical artefacts, documents and pieces of art.” Visitors can look forward to seeing a visual essay focusing on subjects that have received little attention so far. These range

from the role of the female artist from the end of the 18th century to the meaning of polychromy in sculptures from the 19th century.The exhibition will be a personal insight into parts of the university’s history. Flügge enthuses:“The festivities are not separated from the opening of the exhibition. The following party for students, lecturers, alumni, guests and the citizens of Dresden will hopefully turn into a huge birthday bash, just as it should be.” Congratulations to the University of Fine Arts Dresden!

Anniversary exhibition opening times: 07/02 – 15/06/2014 Tuesday-Sunday: 11am-6pm Oktogon Georg-Treu-Platz 1 01067 Dresden