The arts and crafts schools were in Germany until 1945 artistic training centers (higher technical schools) with a focus in the field of applied arts.

Socio-cultural background

The impetus for artistic enterprise promotion was initiated in 1855 by the industrial competition of France and Britain at the world exhibitions in London and Paris in 1851 and taken up in the UK by the Society of Arts with the construction of London's South Kensington Museum. Already at the World Exhibition in London in 1862 showed the success. The Home was founded in 1884 arts and industries association then took the artistic Through education of the whole society to the task. The German club and Crafts Museum in Berlin moved to since 1867, founded 1879, the Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin and 1885, the " educational establishment Museum of Decorative Arts ". In the same year 1867, the foundation of the Austrian Museum for Art and Industry fell.


In Germany opened, the Berlin example below, and with the aim of promoting the German art industry until the end of the 19th century in rapid succession, including the arts and crafts schools in Nuremberg (1853 ), Munich ( 1868), Kassel ( 1869), the " Württemberg State School of Applied Arts " in Stuttgart (1869 ), the Palatinate, arts and crafts school in Kaiserslautern ( 1874), the school for metal industry in Pforzheim (1877 ) and other arts and crafts schools in Karlsruhe (1878 ), Dresden ( 1879), Wiesbaden and Frankfurt am Main (1879 ), Wroclaw, Dusseldorf, Sonnenberg (1883 ), Hamburg ( 1896) and Erfurt (1898 ), while the existing " United provincial art and commercial art school " called Sunday and evening school reform in Magdeburg and in " arts and crafts and Technical Training School " (1887 ) was renamed.

To a renewal of the Arts and Crafts movement occurred between the World Exhibitions Paris 1900 and Brussels in 1910 by the German Werkbund founded in 1907 and the establishment of a professorship of modern arts and crafts at the Graduate School of Berlin. 1908 moved Weimar in conjunction with the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Arts (Hans Olde ) and the Weimar school of sculpture ( Adolf Brütt ) - who is also the Advisory Board of the Berlin Unterrichtsanstalt belonged under Bruno Paul - with the opening of the Grand Ducal Saxon School of Applied Arts (Henry van de Velde ) according to. Peter Behrens (1868-1940) conducted for a few years, the School of Applied Arts Dusseldorf ( 1903-1907 ). The Cologne Werkbund exhibition of 1914 had a major impact on the arts and crafts schools program.

Run by Olde, Brütt and van de Velde Weimar school was continued by the Bauhaus (1919-1933 ). In Cologne, were founded, headed by Richard Riemerschmid Cologne factory schools ( 1926-1933 ). Importance was also the School of Applied Arts Aachen, led by Rudolf Schwarz in the years 1927-1934.

During the Nazi era (1933-1945), schools were brought into line and were renamed now as master schools of formative craft.

After the Second World War, a renewal took place with the establishment of Werkkunstschulen in Aachen, Augsburg, Bielefeld, Braunschweig, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Essen, Hamburg, Hannover, Kiel, Krefeld, Kassel, Lubeck, Magdeburg, Mainz, Münster, Offenbach, Saarbrücken, Trier, Wiesbaden and Wuppertal. In the GDR there was from 1950 Schools of Applied Arts in Erfurt, Heiligendamm, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Potsdam, Snow Mountain and Sun Mountain. Professional education courses for artistic shape design, it was also at various universities of the GDR.

Most of the previous work of art schools went on to successor universities, such as:

  • The former Art School (1869 ) in Kassel, now part of the Kassel School of Art as part of the University of Kassel
  • The former Royal School of Applied Arts in Munich (1868-1946) in today's Academy of Fine Arts in Munich
  • The former Royal School of Applied Arts Nuremberg (1853-1940) in today's Academy of Fine Arts Nuremberg
  • The former Württemberg Arts School (1869-1941) in today's State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart
  • The former " Unterrichtsanstalt Museum of Decorative Arts Berlin" (1868-1924) and later United State Schools for Free and Applied Art (1924-1939) in today's University of the Arts Berlin,
  • The former " Character and School of Applied Arts " (1904 ), later School of Applied Arts in today's Aachen University of Applied Sciences Aachen ( Department of Design )
  • The former School of Applied Arts Frankfurt / Main (1879-1922) in the Städel School (1922-1945), which was raised from 1946 to the State College of Fine Arts / Staedelschule.
  • The former " Grand Ducal Saxon School of Applied Arts in Weimar " (1907-1915) in Weimar Bauhaus (1919-1933) (now the Bauhaus -Universität Weimar ).
  • The former School of Applied Arts Erfurt (1898-1955) became part of the PH and belongs since 2001 to the University of Erfurt
  • The former Craftsman and Arts and Crafts School Bielefeld (1907 ), later Werkkunstschule Bielefeld, in the Fachhochschule Bielefeld, Faculty of Design
  • The former art school in Dortmund ( 1868), later Fachhochschule Dortmund

Or have been, if they were not converted itself into independent colleges of Fine Arts, integrated into existing art schools. for example

  • Went from the former drawing schools of " the Hamburg Society for the promotion of the arts and useful trade " (today Patriotic Society of 1765 ) next to the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (now the University of Applied Sciences ), the Hamburg School of Arts and Crafts, forerunner of today's University of Fine Arts of Hamburg forth,
  • Evolved from the former "Technical Institute for tradespeople " (1873 ) in Bremen after repeated renaming the " School of Design " (1970 ) and finally today's University of the Arts Bremen
  • Be converted the former " Kiel Commercial School" (1907 ) in the "Technical and craft technical school " (1910 ), then in the " Muthesius factory school for crafts and applied arts, then took one after the status was based a higher vocational school ( until 1972 ) and" University School of Design ", before it was finally raised to Muthesius Academy of Kiel ( 2007),
  • Went further from the Braunschweiger " character Instithut " (1841 ), the Academy of Fine Arts in Braunschweig forth, from the " Offenbacher Werkkunstschule " the Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach am Main, from the " State School for Fine and Applied Arts, Saarbrücken " (1924 ), the Arts and Crafts School " for arts and crafts " (1946-1971) became the Department of Art and Design University of Applied Sciences in Saarbrücken and the Academy of Fine Arts Saar ( 1989).
  • From the " Barmen School of Applied Arts " (1894-1947) was the Werkkunstschule Wuppertal (1948-1972) to the Department of Design and Arts of the University of Wuppertal.
  • From the " Arts and Crafts School Food " (1911-1928), the "Folkwang School " ( higher vocational school of design ) until 1971, then part of the University of Essen / Duisburg and from 2008 (along with the University of Music and the Academy of Performing Arts) of the Department of Design of Folkwang University of the Arts, the only university in Germany with doctoral degrees in professional design ( Dr.des. ).
  • The Cologne factory schools (1926-1971) became the " Department of Art and Design" at the University of Applied Sciences in Cologne and in 1993 as Cologne International School of Design ( KISD ) and Academy of Media Arts Cologne ( KHM) refounded.
  • From the School of Applied Arts Vienna (1877-1945), the Academy of Applied Arts, from 1971, the Academy of Applied Arts in 1998 and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.

Without follow-up were:

  • The " Princely characters school" in Weimar (1775-1930)
  • The " applied arts and crafts school Magdeburg " (1887-1963)
  • The " teaching and experimental studio for Applied and Fine Arts " (in short: Debschitz School ) in Munich ( 1902-1914 )
  • The " wood carving Cieplice " (1902-1945)
  • The " National Academy of Fine and Applied Arts Breslau " (1791-1932)


In Vienna was the Arts and Crafts School, which emerged from the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry, the predecessor of the University of Applied Arts, was established in 1867.

In the higher education sector there are two schools with educational focus of Decorative Arts, the Ortweinschule ( Technical College ) in Graz and the HBLA for Artistic Design in Linz.