The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna has been a leading European training center for artists for more than 300 years. As a matter of fact, it houses two of the most significant Austrian art collections, i.e. the "Gemäldegalerie" (Paintings Gallery) and the "Kupferstichkabinett" (The Graphic Collection).
Today, we offer some 1,400 students a variety of courses ranging from painting and sculpture to photography and video, performance and conceptual art, also including architecture, scenography and conservation/restoration. By offering seminars and carrying out a great variety of projects, the Institutes of Art Theory and Cultural Studies and of Natural Sciences and Technology in the Arts ensure a high theoretical standard in all the departments. This is closely linked to the training of art teachers, which we consider central in conveying and communicating art to others. The course structure, based on diploma studies and/or bachelor/master programs, is augmented through various doctoral studies, including an internationally renowned PhD-in-Practice program, as well as through the master program Critical Studies. This wide range of courses offered by the Academy enables students to pursue their own individual goals, and to obtain a variety of qualifications.
As a university, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna is especially dedicated to teaching processes based on research and art alike, i.e. on scientific and artistic research, the findings of which are integrated into the curricula in different ways and communicated to a wider public through exhibitions, symposia, lectures and a publication series. Conveying a complex understanding of art to a knowledge-based society is one of the main tasks of the Academy, apart from teaching students.
The strength of the Academy lies both in its teaching staff of successful, internationally recognized artists, and in its students from over 50 different countries, thus endorsing Vienna's central role as a mediator between East and West. The Academy also cooperates with universities and other institutions of art and culture worldwide. By the same token, the Academy encourages its students to gather international experience in the course of their studies, and supports them in their endeavors.
The Academy of Fine Arts is the only Austrian university where women hold at least 50% of all positions in all staff categories and on all management levels. Such consistent enforcement of the federal Equal Opportunities Act by the relevant university bodies proves that gender fairness can also be achieved on the level of tertiary education.
The Academy's teaching and research work rests on a differentiated concept of art which relates to the aesthetic appearance of a work of art as well as to the characteristic forms of thought underlying artistic practice. First and foremost, we understand art as a mode of thinking and acting which becomes manifest in a wide range of media. Art, as a specific form of insight, can also be expressed by representatives of many professions seemingly unrelated to art. Consequently, with its collections such as the said Paintings Gallery and The Graphic Collection, the Academy provides a wide spectrum of offers for lecturers, students, and to the interested.
Quality Assurance and Standards
At the Academy of Fine Arts, students are prepared for innovative work in an ever widening field of social practice. We insist on the highest standards in teaching and research, but encourage our students to experiment at the same time. With a teacher-student ratio of 1:6, the Academy offers highly individual care and support to students, which puts it on a par with any outstanding art school worldwide, and which is also reflected in its teaching regime.
To safeguard these qualities, students undergo a comprehensive selection procedure prior to admission, while our lecturers are regularly assessed by students and peers. The Academy's artistic output, on the other hand, is judged by international experts at regular intervals.
Five buildings, covering a total area of 33,500 square meters, provide sufficient space for teaching and research. All the sections are equipped with state-of-the-art laboratories, workshops, and studios. In particular, the video and sound studios are among the best of their kind in Austria.
In addition, students and graduates have the opportunity to present and display their work in numerous exhibition rooms.
Staff & Management
All those working at or for the Academy, be it in teaching and research or in administration, do so in an atmosphere of mutual respect and harmony. We are convinced that we can only achieve our common goals in a joint effort, through cooperation.
Aware that effective management rests on trust and a positive attitude, we strive to foster our employees' strengths.
To further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our work, we have been investing in all our employees' personal development and further training, and we regularly report on such staff development measures.
Position & Market Behavior
Aware of its leading position in Central Europe, the Academy will continue in its pursuit of and dedication to high quality and international standing, thus competing with the world's best art universities for lecturers and students. Located at the heart of a cultural metropolis such as Vienna, the Academy of Fine Arts is internationally considered a strong competitor as it offers excellent working conditions and has its own Paintings Gallery and The Graphic Collection, where students are given the chance to study earlier epochs of art.
Funding & Transparency
The Academy is mainly funded by the state, but also relies financially on the earnings gained through services and publications, as well as through third-party funds and sponsoring. Needless to say, we manage our budget economically and with utmost care, which is why we always publish our balance sheets containing the main figures and other significant parameters.
To give us more scope of action, however, we actively seek the support of people and institutions who share our values and objectives. Especially, we would like to invite our alumni and alumnae, but also those who are interested in art, to support the Academy financially.
State & Society
Our work is oriented on the principles of gender mainstreaming and anti-discrimination. We invest our resources responsibly and with a view to environmental sustainability.
We fulfil our social commitment by doing what we do best--i.e., by developing, training, and promoting artists. The Academy supports eligible students by granting scholarships funded by tuition fees and other financial means.
Eva Blimlinger, MA, Rector
Dr. Andrea B. Braidt, MA, MLitt, Vice-Rector for Art I Research
Dr. Karin Riegler, Vice-Rector for Teaching I Promotion of Early Stage Artists/Researchers
Vienna, April 2013