Art Academy /History


Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg

In 1767 the Hamburgische Gesellschaft zur Beförderung der Künste und nützlichen Gewerbe (Hamburg Society for the Advancement of the Arts and Useful Trades, known as the Patriotische Gesellschaft von 1765) founded the first vocational school in Germany, which also included a drawing school for prospective craftsmen. Two independent institutions gradually developed from this establishment: an art school and a building school.

1865 The state of Hamburg took over the administration of the vocational school, formerly financed by the city’s guilds. It significance grew perceptibly, with successes at German and overseas exhibitions.

In 1893 there were 24 subject classes in the state vocational school.

In 1896 the school evolved into the Staatliche Kunstgewerbeschule (state vocational art school).

1913 The school moved into its own building, designed by Fritz Schumacher, which also provided a number of many workshops. The First World War made an abrupt break in the development of the school.

During the Second World War, the National Socialist leadership brought the now distinguished school to a complete standstill. Its director Max Sauerlandt (also director of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe) was dismissed from office in 1933. The state art school became the Hansische Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Hanseatic College of Fine Arts), which however lacked university status. The bombing raid in 1943 damaged the building significantly. The school was however opened in the same year, now once more called the Landeskunstschule (state art school), with a new council.

In 1955 it became the Hochschule für bildende Künste, which gained art and scientific college status in 1970.

By 2006 the HFBK had brought all visual culture disciplines together under its roof: art, art pedagogy, architecture, visual communication (graphic art/typography, film, photography and experimental media) and design. Once the HafenCity Universität (HCU) was established the architecture department was transferred out of the art university.

In 2008, the Bachelor/Master system will be introduced at the HFBK. From autumn 2008 an interdisciplinary »Fine Arts« study programme will be offered, which encompasses all subjects taught at the HFBK.


Luftaufnahme des HFBK-Hauptgebäudes am Lerchenfeld 2, erbaut von Fritz Schumacher in den Jahren 1911 - 1913

Das Hauptgebäude der HFBK am Lerchenfeld, 1911 - 1913 gebaut nach Plänen von Fritz Schumacher

Der Haupteingang des Gebäudes am Lerchenfeld 2 mit der ursprünglichen Eingangstreppe

Der Haupteingang des Gebäudes am Lerchenfeld 2 mit der ursprünglichen Eingangstreppe