Digitization, Editions, Indexing

Creating an index of students at the Prussian Akademie der Künste 1751 – 1875

Project duration: 2015 – 2021

Lists of students from 1763 to 1766

One of the Prussian Akademie der Künste’s key tasks was to provide academic training for visual artists. Several thousand students were taught from 1696, the year the Academy was established, until 1875 when the Akademische Hochschule für die bildenden Künste (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) was founded and became the centre for training students. In the late eighteenth century, when various educational divisions were formed, artistic training became more differentiated. The basic skills were taught in sketching and drawing classes. The Bauakademie school of architecture as well as schools of arts and trades provided courses to train applied skills. As gifted young academic students, the best drawing school graduates received more advanced tuition in painting, sculpture, architecture and the art of engraving and printing moulds and forms.

However, no matriculation registers exist for enrolled students, only lists of students filed in various volumes of documents. At present, the question of whether a particular artist actually studied at the Akademie der Künste can only be answered by extensive archival research. For this reason, in late 2015 the Historical Archives launched a project to create an index with all the names of students and make this available via a full text database. Due to the large data volume, the index is first to go online in late 2021 with part of the entire student data. The oldest lists of students, starting from 1751, with details of full names, classes attended, enrolment date and – where available – age, place of birth, desired career and father’s profession, will then provide an extensive research resource for the history of the Academy, social history, prosopography and family histories.

Project Management: Werner Heegewaldt, Dr. Ulrike Möhlenbeck