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Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst
Leipzig, Germany


University description (as per official university website)

Summary of the chronology of the HGB (edited by Julia Blume)

Fred Smejirs assumes office as Professor for type in the field of digital media.

Joachim Brohm takes over the directorship. The audio-visual laboratory, headed by Christin Lahr, is opened.

Dr Klaus Werner takes over the directorship of the Academy until 2003. The newly built gallery is reopened under Beatrice von Bismarck in combination with the establishment of a D/O/C/K-Project Department for co-operative curatorial activity with students.

The trial period of a collective Foundation course for all departments begins, with an interdisciplinary programme in the first year. The course enables all students to familiarise themselves with the various workshops. There is an increase in the number of interdisciplinary projects.

Ruedi Baur heads the Academy until 2000, cultivating contact with foreign academies. Baur pushes ahead with the rebuilding of the gallery as well as with an architecture competition for an audio-visual laboratory, which, it is hoped, will enrich the workshop structure of the Academy.

Albrecht von Bodecker heads the Academy until 1997. His term coincides with the extensive rebuilding work, the bulk of which is completed by 2001.

A process of restructuring begins that includes the Evaluation of the teaching programme and staff. An independent Media Art department develops out of the first beginnings of a media workshop, and begins enrolling students in 1993. The theory programme, which had had a strong political orientation until 1990, is expanded according to the Academy?s specific needs and includes Art History, Philosophy, Media Theory, History of Photography and History of Book Design.

Arno Rink heads the Academy until 1994. In this period he is confronted with the task of transforming the Academy into an educational institution capable of holding its own against the competition within the German Federal Republic.

The HGB gallery is officially opened, headed by Christina Rink. In the following years, exhibitions of major figures of international art of the 20th Century offer visitors the first opportunity of encountering original works of classical modernism. Among the most notable presentations are works of Pablo Picasso (1980), Herbert Sandberg (1981), August Sanders (1981), Il Lissitzky (1983), Man Ray (1986), Henri Cartier Bresson (1987) and Joseph Beuys (1988) and the exhibition "American Pop-Art" (1984).

Bernhard Heisig is made director and heads the Academy until 1987. Approximately 160 students are enrolled at the Academy. The courses in Painting / Printmaking, Photography and Book Design each have their own foundation programmes, providing the basic preparatory training for the specialist classes. The generation of painting graduates from the end of the Sixties attains prominence through its exactitude of drawing, its broader notion of tradition and its inclination towards allegory and literary references. Consequently, the painting department receives increasing recognition and becomes a determining factor for the outward image of the Academy. At the same time, a strong tendency towards social engagement emerges in the Photography course, bluntly showing social reality with focus on the individual combined with a grand pictorial aesthetic.

Werner Tübke is made director and heads the Academy until 1976.

An exhibition of book and type graphics of the HGB is held in the Biblioteca Palatina in Parma as the first official exhibition by an art academy from the German Democratic Republic in Italy.

Bernhard Heisig is made director and heads the school until 1964.

The Evening Academy is reopened, headed by Walter Münze and from 1964 by Gerd Thielemann. As of the Seventies, the Evening Academy concentrates on supporting emerging students as the ?Department for Preparatory Studies?.

Founding of the Institute for Book Design under the supervision of Albert Kapr who has taught at the Academy since 1951.

The Leipzig Academy attracts attention at the 3rd German Art Exhibition in Dresden with didactic, propagandistic images, informed formally by late 19th Century realism. The ensuing conflict within the Academy leads to changes to the teaching staff in the mid-fifties, with Bernhard Heisig, Werner Tübke, Hans Mayer-Foreyt and others being engaged.

Following the escalation of the formalism debate, Walter Arnold, Max Schwimmer and Eberhard Strüning leave the Academy. The accusation of being uncontemporary is also levelled at the Book Design department where Oskar Zech and Egon Pruggmayer had promoted the aesthetic criteria of the pre-war period. The relations that had been cultivated over decades with the publishing industry are gravely harmed as a result of the debate.

The Academy is officially renamed ?Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst?.

The school is reopened as the ?Akademie für Graphik und Buchkunst - staatliche Hochschule?. The master course is divided into classes for illustration, typeface and book design, typesetting, book printing and binding. The lithography, woodcut and etching studios are retained and are used increasingly for free graphic work.

In August Walter Tiemann is appointed commissioning director. He attempts to revive the pre-war tradition of the Academy.

During the bombardment of Leipzig in December approximately two thirds of the building is destroyed. The classes continue to be held.

The Institute for Colour Photography is founded, headed by Hanns Geissler, who had been installed in 1939. The Institute is intended to function as a mediator between production and application and to train the ?correct seeing of colour?.

After the German fascists take power, Hugo Steiner-Prag and Willi Geiger are dismissed.

After Louise Rudolph, the book and typeface designer Johannes Tschichold is engaged for the evening course. Tschichold, who had taken courses under Hermann Delitsch and Walter Tiemann, becomes, with his writings ?Elementare Typographie? (1925) and ?Neue Typographie? (1928), one of the driving forces of the modernist reform of typography.

ab 1920
Walter Tiemann is made director and heads the Academy until 1941The theory programme is extended to include the history of book design and type. Fritz Götz teaches from 1919 to 1926 as head of the photo-mechanical institute with a technically excellent course, attended among others by Lucia Moholy (1925) and Walter Peterhans (1926).

The 150th anniversary of the Academy is celebrated with an extensive programme of festivities and a major exhibition. The Academy has established itself nationally and internationally as a learning institution for the book trade and co-operates actively with local printers, cultural institutions and associations. In the jubilee year the BUGRA is held for the first time in Leipzig, an international exposition of book design modelled on the World Exhibition.

The first major festivity is held at the Academy under the motto ?Party at the court of Ferrara?. The Academy parties, mostly held in the carnival period, become a feature of the city?s cultural life and afford students and staff free artistic collaboration on a chosen theme.

The ?Verein Deutscher Buchgewerbekünstler? (Association of German Book Designers) is founded at the Academy, which is also the association?s headquarters. The association is an important source of inspiration for the first International Book and Graphics Exposition in 1914, the International Book Art Exposition? in 1927 and for the competition for the ?World?s Most Beautiful Books? held in Germany and initiated in 1929.

The doctor of chemistry Emanuel Goldberg succeeds Georg Aarland and expands the course in Reproduction Photography into an autonomous department.

Max Seliger becomes director and heads the Academy until 1920. The teaching programme is reorganised with distinct emphasis on the manufacture of books of the highest technical and design quality.

The School is officially renamed ?Königliche Akademie für graphische Künste und Buchgewerbe? (Royal Academy for Graphic Arts and Book Technique).

The Academy reacts to the demand for specialists in mechanical reproduction techniques with the opening of the ?Technical College for Photo-Mechanical Reproduction?, headed by Dr Carl Wilhelm Georg Aarland, well-known principally as the author of theoretical works.

The broad-based applied arts programme concentrates increasingly on trades associated with the design and production of books.

Completion of the new building in the Wächterstraße. The Art Academy now has a building adapted to its special needs, conducive to the artistic teaching programme accompanied by technical studio work.

The core collection of the current Academy library is established with a donation of 235 volumes by Leipzig printing and publishing houses.

The school receives the official title ?Königliche Kunstakademie und Kunstgewerbeschule? (Royal Academy of Art and Applied Art).

The reform efforts result in a completely new teaching programme, which appears for the first time in print. In 1877, as a consequence of the new programme, the wood-engraving course is introduced as a reproduction technique and new workshops for copperplate printing, lithography and woodcut are installed.

Ludwig Nieper is made director and heads the Academy until 1901. In the previous year he had been the only active teacher, charged by the ministry with the Academy?s reorganisation in an attempt to counteract the impending closure with a new, contemporary teaching approach. With reference to the original brief of the Academy under Oeser, new connections to commerce and industry (chiefly the book industry) in Leipzig are cultivated.

The city of Leipzig appeals to the state Parliament for the dissolution of the Academy.

Gustav Jäger is made director and heads the Academy until 1871. He sets the focus of the programme on history painting. As was already the case under Neher, the connections to the trade and the publishing industry in Leipzig are no longer of importance. From 1855 on, the only lecturer apart from the director is Gustav Adolph Henning.

Hanns Veit Schnorr von Carolsfeld is made director and heads the Academy until 1841. He introduces a regular teaching schedule and the registration of new and leaving students. After the Battle of Nations, around 60 students resume studies. Schnorr von Carolsfeld adopts drawing from nature as a learning method. Anatomy is offered as a supplementary course. In 1830 there is another significant infringement on the Academy?s activities as the rooms are used by the military, whose presence was due to political unrest in Leipzig.

1765 / 1766
The Academy is relocated to the west wing of the Pleißenburg, where it remains until 1890. The Drawing Academy is open to students of Leipzig University. Johann Wolfgang Goethe is among those to take advantage of this opportunity.

On 6 February 1764 the three Saxon art academies in Dresden, Leipzig and Meißen are. Adam Friedrich Oeser is made director of the ?Zeichnungs-,Mahlerey- und Architecturakademie? (Academy of Drawing, Painting and Architecture) in Leipzig. Oeser begins drawing lessons with 23 students in the rooms of his private apartment in the Peterstraße. Later, rooms are made available to him in the prince-elector?s offices in the Klostergasse at the corner of the Thomaskirchhof.

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