The Kunstakademie Düsseldorf is the Arts Academy of the city of Düsseldorf, Germany. Notable artists who attended the academy include Joseph Beuys, Gerhard Richter, Gotthard Graubner, Ruth Rogers-Altmann, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer and photographers Thomas Ruff, Thomas Demand, Thomas Struth, Andreas Gursky and Candida Höfer. In the stairway of its main entrance, are engraved the Words: "Für unsere Studenten nur das Beste" ("For our Students only the Best").
The school was founded by Lambert Krahe in 1762 as a school of drawing. The first female professor, Catharina Treu, was appointed in 1766. In 1773, it became the "Kurfürstlich-Pfälzische Academie der Maler, Bildhauer- und Baukunst" (Academy of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of the Electorate of the Palatinate). During the Napoleonic Wars, the count palatine's art collection was inherited by the Wittelsbach family and moved to Munich, prompting the Prussian government—who had annexed the Düsseldorf region after Napoleon had surrendered—to change it into a Royal Arts Academy in Düsseldorf, in 1819.
In the 1850s, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf became internationally renowned, with many students coming from Scandinavia, Russia and the United States to learn, among other things, the genre and landscape painting associated with the "Düsseldorf school".
Students of Bernd and Hilla Becher at the Düsseldorf School of Photography have included Laurenz Berges, Elger Esser, Andreas Gursky, Candida Höfer, Axel Hütte, Simone Nieweg, Thomas Ruff, Jörg Sasse, Thomas Struth, Petra Wunderlich.The academy has its own museum: the academy gallery (near to the historic city hall). The new director, Rita McBride, will open the academy to new media such as 3D printing. Every February the academy opens to the public, an event which is called Rundgang (tour).
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Düsseldorf is the capital and second-largest city of the most populous German state of North Rhine-Westphalia after Cologne, and the seventh-largest city in Germany, with a population of 617,280. At the confluence of the Rhine and its tributary Düssel, the city lies in the centre of both the Rhine-Ruhr and the Rhineland Metropolitan Regions with the Cologne Bonn Region to its south and the Ruhr to its north. Most of the city lies on the right bank of the Rhine. The city is the largest in the German Low Franconian dialect area. "Dorf" meaning "village" in German, the "-dorf" suffix is unusual in the German-speaking area for a settlement of Düsseldorf's size.
Thomas Struth is a German photographer who is best known for his Museum Photographs, family portraits and 1970s black and white photographs of the streets of Düsseldorf and New York City. Struth lives and works in Berlin and New York.
Bernhard "Bernd" Becher, and Hilla Becher, née Wobeser, were German conceptual artists and photographers working as a collaborative duo. They are best known for their extensive series of photographic images, or typologies, of industrial buildings and structures, often organised in grids. As the founders of what has come to be known as the ‘Becher school’ or the ‘Düsseldorf School’ they influenced generations of documentary photographers and artists. They have been awarded the Erasmus Prize and the Hasselblad Award.
Andreas Gursky is a German photographer and professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Germany.
Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany. He has been described as “a master of edited and reimagined images”.
The Kunstpalast is an art museum in Düsseldorf, Germany.
Candida Höfer is a Cologne, Germany-based photographer and a former student of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Like other Becher students – Axel Hütte, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth – Höfer's work is known for technical perfection and a strictly conceptual approach. From 1997 to 2000, she taught as professor at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Karlsruhe. Höfer is the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Contribution to Photography award, as part of the Sony World Photography awards.
Thomas Schütte is a German contemporary artist. He sculpts, creates architectural designs, and draws. He lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Markus Oehlen is a German visual artist working in painting, sculpture, and music. In the 1970s and 80s he was a founding member of the influential neo-expressionist art movement Neue Wilde in Düsseldorf alongside Martin Kippenberger, Markus Lüpertz, and his brother Albert Oehlen.
Markus Vater is a German artist. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Royal College of Art, London. From 2012 to 2016 he had been teaching at the Royal College of Art in London. In 2014 he had a guestprofessorship at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg and from 2016 to 2019 at the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Karlsruhe. Vater lives and works in London.
A Kunstgewerbeschule was a type of vocational arts school that existed in German-speaking countries from the mid-19th century. The term Werkkunstschule was also used for these schools. From the 1920s and after World War II, most of them either merged into universities or closed, although some continued until the 1970s.
Horst Gläsker is a German artist. His work is a symbiosis of music, dance, theatre, drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and architecture.
Tatjana Ilic – Tanja Ilic is a fine artist. She graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts - Majoring in graphics in Belgrade in 1995. During her studies she enrolled at the Düsseldorf Arts Academy in the class of Jannis Kounellis, section Bildhauerei. On the recommendation of her professor, she acquired a Master's status in 1997, and continued to work in the same class until 2000. She has been a member of the Association of Fine Artists of Serbia since 1995. She has also been a member of the International Artists Forum since 2003. In the same year her artwork "Vogel" was incorporated into the analytical review "Performance - Art - Kontext".
Joseph Fassbender (Faßbender) was a German painter and draughtsman.
Ralf Brueck is a German artist.
Fritz Schwegler was a German painter, graphic artist, sculptor and musician.
Udo Dziersk is a contemporary German painter.
Anatol Herzfeld was a German sculptor and mixed-media artist, and also a policeman. A student of Joseph Beuys, he primarily used wood, iron and stone as materials. As an artist, he simply signed Anatol. He received attention for a happening, crossing the Rhine in a boat he created with Beuys, after Beuys had been expelled from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.
Erwin Heerich was a German artist.
Wilhelm Lambert Krahe was a German history painter and art collector.
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