Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
art school in Vienna, Austria



We do our best to use images that are open source. If you feel we have used an image of yours inappropriately please let us know and we will fix it.


Our writing can be punchy but we do our level best to ensure the material is accurate. If you believe we have made a mistake, please let us know.


If you are planning to see an artwork, please keep in mind that while the art we cover is held in permanent collections, pieces are sometimes removed from display for renovation or traveling exhibitions.

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
art school in Vienna, Austria
Average: 5 (2 votes)

Schillerplatz 3

More about Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

soesterling's picture


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.

mhoutzager's picture


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.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (German: Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien) is a public art school of higher education in Vienna, Austria. The Academy is famous outside the arts community for rejecting Adolf Hitler twice (in 1907 and 1908), because of his "unfitness for painting" (see also, Paintings by Adolf Hitler).


The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna was founded in 1692 as a private academy modelled on the Accademia di San Luca and the Parisien Académie de peinture et de sculpture by the court-painter Peter Strudel, who became the Praefectus Academiae Nostrae. In 1701 he was ennobled by Emperor Joseph I as Freiherr (Baron) of the Empire. With his death in 1714, the academy temporarily closed.

On 20 January 1725, Emperor Charles VI appointed the Frenchman Jacob van Schuppen as Prefect and Director of the Academy, which was refounded as the k.k. Hofakademie der Maler, Bildhauer und Baukunst (Imperial and Royal Court Academy of painters, sculptors and architecture). Upon Charles' death in 1740, the academy at first declined, however during the rule of his daughter Empress Maria Theresa, a new statute reformed the academy in 1751. The prestige of the academy grew during the deanships of Michelangelo Unterberger and Paul Troger, and in 1767 the archduchesses Maria Anna and Maria Carolina were made the first Honorary Members. In 1772, there were further reforms to the organisational structure. Chancellor Wenzel Anton Kaunitz integrated all existing art schools into the k.k. vereinigten Akademie der bildenden Künste (Imperial and Royal Unified Academy of Fine Arts). The word "vereinigten" (unified) was later dropped. In 1822 the art cabinet grew significantly with the bequest of honorary member Anton Franz de Paula Graf Lamberg-Sprinzenstein. His collection still forms the backbone of the art on display.

In 1872 Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria approved a statute making the academy the supreme government authority for the arts. A new building was constructed according to plans designed by the faculty Theophil Hansen in the course of the layout of the Ringstraße boulevard. On 3 April 1877, the present-day building on Schillerplatz in the Innere Stadt district was inaugurated, the interior works, including ceiling frescos by Anselm Feuerbach, continued until 1892. In 1907 and 1908, young Adolf Hitler, who had come from Linz, was twice denied admission to the drawing class. He stayed in Vienna, subsisting on his orphan allowance, and tried unsuccessfully to continue his profession as an artist. Soon he had withdrawn into poverty and started selling amateur paintings, mostly watercolours, for meagre sustenance until he left Vienna for Munich in May 1913.

During the Austrian Anschluss to Nazi Germany from 1938–1945, the academy was forced to heavily reduce its number of Jewish staff. After World War II, the academy was reconstituted in 1955 and its autonomy reconfirmed. It has had university status since 1998, but retained its original name. It is currently the only Austrian university that doesn't have the word "university" in its name.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.