More about Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
After the Von Trapps singing Adelweiss in "The Sound of Music," the founding of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna by a man named Peter Strudel is the most Austrian thing I’ve ever heard.
Not just a delicious pastry, Strudel was an Imperial Court painter from 1676 to 1686 until he built the Strudelhof mansion in 1688, thusly starting Central Europe’s oldest private art school. The original mansion no longer stands but the new one, which took its place, is still hella historical. It served as the 1914 site of the signing of the Austrian ultimatum that led directly to WWI and in 1970 housed disarmament talks between the USSR and USA.
If the school’s buildings don’t tickle your historical fancy then consider this: the Academy is the famed art school that rejected Hitler. In 1906 at the age of 17, having flunked out of high school he withdrew his entire inheritance, and with dreams of becoming an artist, left his dying mother for Vienna to take the Academy’s entrance exam. In what can be read as a chillingly-telling explanation he failed the exam because his paintings lacked an “appreciation of the human form.” He tried and failed to get in the following year. Perhaps out of revenge the school was “ethnically purged” of Jewish staff in 1938.
The modern institution still serves first and foremost as an art school though its library houses one of the largest collections of etches, drawings and prints in Austria. Its also home to a sweet collection of Netherlandish painters including works by Rubens and Van Dyck in addition to the works of many former pupils. Visit Tuesday- Sunday from 10am-6pm and bring your angsty teenagers and kids because people under 19 are free.
Founded in 1692 as a private art school.
Rejected Hitler's application for admission on two separate occasions.
Accepted Austrian art hero, Hans Makart, as a student, but then kicked him out for being "devoid of talent". Makart went on to become an art superstar, and one of Hitler's favorite painters.
Lost almost all of their Jewish staff during WWII.