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History of the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts

Oskar Kokoschka – School of Vision

In summer 1953, Oskar Kokoschka founded the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Hohensalzburg Fortress as a "School of Vision". This first summer academy of art in Europe was an international meeting-place for people of diverse origins, age and social background, and a counterpart to traditional national art academies. There was no room in Kokoschka's teaching concept for a dividing line between artistic skill and a comprehensive intellectual and humanistic education. Within eleven summers, he had succeeded in increasing the number of participants from 30 in 1953 to 250 in 1963.

The history of the International Summer Academy reflects the developments in art, the art world and academic teaching over the past 60 years. During the 1950s and '60s the Summer Academy was generally up to the minute – with, for instance, Architecture classes directed by Konrad Wachsmann and Jacob Berend Bakema – and far ahead of state education. Occasionally – as in Performance (it was not until 1984 that courses were directed by Alan Kaprow and Wolf Vostell) – it lagged a little behind certain developments in art.

On 6 August 2013, the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts celebrated its 60th anniversary at a ceremony held in the TriBühne Lehen in Salzburg in the presence of Federal President Heinz Fischer, regional councillor Heinrich Schellhorn, local councillor Wolfgang Gallei (deputising for Mayor Heinz Schaden), and Hildegund Amanshauser, director of the Summer Academy. In an interview with Hannes Eichmann (Austrian Broadcasting), Martin Fritz, a curator and journalist from Vienna, presented the results of his research into the 60-year history of the Summer Academy.

A book entitled The World's Finest Studio. 60 years of the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, edited by Hildegund Amanshauser for the Summer Academy, was published by Jung und Jung Verlag, Salzburg and Vienna.

Oskar Kokoschka began his career in Vienna, as an expressionist painter, graphic artist and writer. His art was prohibited during the National Socialist period as "degenerate". A vehement opponent of National Socialism, he emigrated in 1934 to Prague and in 1938 to Britain, where he lived until 1953. He then moved to Lake Geneva in Switzerland, where he died in 1980.

Oskar Kokoschka's late work, his figurative landscape and portrait painting, was represented at documenta exhibitions 1, 2 and 3 in the 1950s and '60s; his vedute dating from the 1930s are displayed in many museums in Austria and Germany. Kokoschka adopted a position diametrically opposed to the modern abstractionism which emerged from the USA and claimed a monopoly of the avant-garde during the 1940s and '50s. Until the 1970s, the Western European art-world was dominated by this antithesis, which was expressed as an often acrimonious battle between representatives of figurative versus those of abstract art. Kokoschka's position naturally shaped the teaching programme of the Summer Academy, which initially consisted of four classes.

During the 1950s, the driving force and manager in the Kokoschka era was the gallerist Friedrich Welz, one of the leading art-dealers in the Third Reich; he rose to become director of the Salzburg Landesgalerie (now the Residenzgalerie). After the war, he continued as a gallerist, representing artists including Kokoschka, who was a friend of his. The fact that Welz and Hermann Stuppäck, Kokoschka's successor – two high-ranking protagonists (or profiteers) of the Nazi régime – played a significant role in the first decades of the Summer Academy is typical of the way Austrian – and particularly Salzburg – cultural policy worked after the Second World War. It must be said, however, that in the post-war period neither of them gave any sign of adherence to Nazi ideology; on the contrary, both openly championed contemporary art. This historical background, and much more, will be examined more closely in the 60th-anniversary publication.

History of the Summer Academy after Oskar Kokoschka

In 1964, Kokoschka was succeeded by Hermann Stuppäck, the former highest-ranking Viennese NS cultural official, who was also President of the Salzburger Kunstverein from 1962 until 1976, and who directed the Summer Academy until 1980. During the 1960s and '70s, the teaching programme was opened up to a pluralism of the "equality of the disparate", within which current trends, such as abstract art, were represented. Stuppäck established basic courses concentrating on technical skills, as well as advanced courses. Under his direction, the Summer Academy expanded to record numbers of up to 650 students.

From 1981 until 1999, Wieland Schmied was President of the Summer Academy. His period was distinguished primarily by the network of international artists and theorists he built up, drawing on his resources as former Director of the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hanover and Director of the DAAD in Berlin. Topical art discourse was reflected through lecture series on theory and history of classical modern art, current trends in the 1980s, and current urban and architectural developments, together with discussions and symposia on post-modernism or art in public space.

Barbara Wally began as manager with Wieland Schmied in 1981, and was overall director from 1999 until 2008. Her era was characterised by a policy of openness far beyond Europe and western art, thus taking into account the globalisation of the art world. From the 1990s onwards, she invited an increasing number of female artists from all over the world, especially protagonists of feminist art, to teach new subjects including body art, media art, and installative and performative concepts. Socio-political questions such as the economisation and privatisation of art, the role of the artist in society, and the blurring of dividing lines between culture, entertainment and information marked the course programmes of these years.

Teachers 1953 - 2017


Sonia Abian, Mohamed Abla, Siegfried Anzinger, Christian Ludwig Attersee, Donald Baechler, Monika Baer, Ina Barfuß, Hans Baschang, Ákos Birkás, Norbert Bisky, Albert Bitran, Erwin Bohatsch, Jacobo Borges, Bernadette Bour, Jürgen Böttcher-Strawalde, Arik Brauer, Varda Caivano, Sandro Chia, Joze Ciuha, G.B. Corneille, Charlotte Cullinan, Gunter Damisch, Mario Deliugi, Antonio Dias, Milena Dragicevic, Walter Eckert, Robert Eigenberger, Georg Eisler, Robert Feintuch, Adolf Frohner, Ernst Fuchs, Rupprecht Geiger, Raimund Girke, Leon Golub, Melissa Gordon, Gotthard Graubner, Johannes Grützke, Dieter Hacker, Ellen Harvey, Xenia Hausner, Hanspeter Hofmann, Giselbert Hoke, Moni K. Huber, Jörg Immendorff, György Jovánovics, Martha Jungwirth, Siegfried Kaden, Aisha Khalid, Milan Knizák, Howard Kanovitz, Per Kirkeby, Oskar Kokoschka, Rudolf Kortokraks, Tomasz Kowalski, Anton Lehmden, Li Songsong, Kurt Löb, Ulrica Lundberg, Markus Lüpertz, Ingeborg Lüscher, Bernhard Martin, Mara Mattuschka, Lucy McKenzie, Bruce McLean, Georg Meistermann, Mario Merz, Anna Meyer, Josef Mikl, Luciano Minguzzi, Kurt Moldovan, Rebecca Morris, Irina Nakhova, Hermann Nitsch, Oswald Oberhuber, Paulina Olowska, Watts Ouattara, Robin Page, Claus Pack, G.K. Pfahler, Max Peiffer Watenphul, Katrin Plavcak, Peter Pongratz, Imran Qureshi, Bridget Riley, Toni Roth, Andreas Rothe, Tex Rubinowitz, Hella Santarossa, Robert Scherer, Hubert Schmalix, Hubert Scheibl, Dierk Schmidt, Joan Semmel, Nancy Spero, Hans Stockbauer, Elaine Sturtevant, Rudolf Szyszkowitz, Heinz Trökes, Emilio Vedova, Thomas Wachweger, Eva Wagner, Ben Willikens, Gerd Winner, Amelie von Wulffen, Xie Nanxing, Yi Chen, Mark Van Yetter, Wou-Ki Zao, Bernd Zimmer, Gerlind Zeilner, Shan Zuo und Da Huang Zhou, Christina Zurfluh.

Plastic arts and Sculpture

Claudia Ammann, Aaron Angell, Joannis Avramidis, Kengiro Azuma, Michael Beutler, Giacomo Baragli, Frida Baranek, Hella Berent, Wander Bertoni, H.J. Breuste, Ralph Brown, Vlassis Caniaris, Miloslav Chlupác, Alice Creischer, Nancy Davidson, Oreste Dequel, Lauren Ewing, Gerda Fassel, Ojars Feldbergs, Tone Fink, Lothar Fischer, Judy Fox, Katharina Fritsch, Wang Fu, Makoto Fujiwara, Emilio Greco, Asta Gröting, Julie Hayward, Alfred Hrdlicka, Magdalena Jetelová, Ivan Kafka, Heinrich Kirchner, Kiki Kogelnik, Azade Köker, Robert Kuśmirowski, Alf Lechner, Janez Lenassi, Alois Lindenbauer, Thomas Link, Andreas Lolis, Marko Lulic, Eileen MacDonagh, Hubert Maier, Giacomo Manzù, Marcello Mascherini, Ewald Mataré, Masayuki Nagase, Irina Nakhova, Paloma Navares, Peter Niedertscheider, Uli Nimptsch, Waldemar Otto, Manfred Pernice, Josef Pillhofer, Rona Pondick, Karl Prantl, Kosta Angeli Radovani, Max Rieder, Gernot Rumpf, Schälling | Enderle, Michael Schoenholtz, Nora Schultz, Chihiro Shimotani, Andreas Siekmann, Jeanne Silverthorne, Kiki Smith, Hagbart Solløs, Francesco Somaini, Rolf Szymanski, Susanne Tunn, Günter Unterburger, Imre Varga, Monika Verhoeven, Franz Erhard Walther, Andreas von Weizsäcker, Magdalena Wiecek, Knut Wold, Josef Zenzmaier.

Drawing, graphic arts and printing

Jirí Anderle, Sarnath Banerjee, Hella Berent, Leya Mira Brander, Uwe Bremer, Ernst Caramelle, Bernhard Cella, Franz Coufal, Adriana Czernin, Jim Dine, Anton Drioli, Otto Eglau, Andrea Fogli, Johnny Friedländer, Ava Gerber, Izabella Gustowska, Gerhard Gutruf, Wolfgang Haader, Joan Hall, Rudolf Hradil, Matthias Herbst, Stephanvon Huene, Leiko Ikemura, Zygmunt Januszewski, Ben Katchor, Vera Khlebnikova, Erich Krämer, Helge Larsen, Erik Theodor Lässig, Anton Lehmden, Matts Leiderstam, Michèle Lemieux, Kurt Löb, Marie Marcks, Gregory Masurovsky, Dora Maurer, Friedrich Meckseper, Till Megerle, Denes Miklosi, Kurt Moldovan, Michael Morgner, Eva Möseneder, Tony Munzlinger, Luis Murschetz, Kunito Nagaoka, Senam Okudzeto, Willem Oorebeek, Werner Otte, Giulio Paolini, Jürgen Partenheimer, Dan und Lia Perjovschi, Krystyna Piotrowska, Herbert Post, M.E. Prigge, Lukas Pusch, Gerhard Rühm, Jiri Salamoun, Christoph Schäfer, Konrad Balder Schäuffelen, Louise Schmid, Martin Schmidl, Elisabeth Schmirl, Walter Schmögner, Rudolf Schönwald, Fritz Schwegler, Adriena Simotová, Slavi Soucek, Yoshi Takahashi, André Thomkins, Werner Tübke, Markus Vallazza, Jan Voss, F.K. Waechter, Olav Westphalen, Nicolas Wild, Konrad Winter, Reiner Zimnik.

Interdisciplinary classes, Installation, Public interventions

Ai Weiwei, Marwa Arsanios, Doug Ashford, Guillaume Bijl, Tania Bruguera, Tony Chakar, Olga Chernysheva, Katrina Daschner, Agnes Denes, Christoph Draeger, Jan Fabre, feld72, Tone Fink, Peter Friedl, Felix Gmelin, Geoffrey Hendricks, Dick Higgins, Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Alfredo Jaar, Anna Jermolaewa, Ilya & Emilia Kabakov, Jitish Kallat, Allan Kaprow, Gülsün Karamustafa, Wolfram P. Kastner, Thomas Kilpper, Alison Knowles, Brigitte Kowanz, Robert Kuśmirowski, Maha Maamoun, Liliana Moro, Christian Philipp Müller, Roman Opalka, Eduardo Paolozzi, Marie-Louise von Plessen, Otto Piene, Anne Poirier, Werner Ruhnau, Konrad Balder Schäuffelen, Daniel Spoerri, Mladen Stilinović, Christian Tomaszewski, Günther Uecker, Wolf Vostell, Efthymios Warlamis, Andreas von Weizsäcker, Emmett Williams, Dorothee von Windheim.

Jewellery – Fashion – Design

Giampaolo Babetto, Maria Blaisse, Esther Brinkmann, Caroline Broadhead, Lin Cheung, Johanna Dahm, Benedikt Fischer, Florian Ladstätter, Modebus, Marc Monzó, Erico Nagai, E.R. Nele, Robin Quigley, Lucy Sarneel, Sepp Schmölzer, Peter Skubic, Josef Symon, Manuel Vilhena, Christoph Zellweger.


Dieter Appelt, Sabine Bitter, Heinz Cibulka, Lynne Cohen, Nancy Davenport, Ines Doujak, Destiny Deacon, Bernhard Fuchs, Verena von Gagern, Nan Goldin, Eikoh Hosoe, Valérie Jouve, Tamarra Kaida, Rolf Koppel, Friedl Kubelka, Reiner Leist, Erich Lessing, Simone Nieweg, Floris Neusüss, Lorraine O'Grady, Roberto Ohrt, Roger Palmer, Qiu Zhijie, Jo Ractliffe, Rivka Rinn, Jayce Salloum, Michael Schmidt, Wilhelm Schürmann, Elfie Semotan, Ahlam Shibli, Katharina Sieverding, Annegret Soltau, Douglas Stewart, Linda Troeller, Helmut Weber, Paolo Woods, Tobias Zielony.


Hitoshi Abe, Raimund Abraham, Friedrich Achleitner, Jacob Berend Bakema, Hermann Baur, Arno Brandlhuber/Christopher Roth, Georges Candilis, Peter Cook, COOP Himmelblau, Günther Domenig, Shuhei Endo, Véronique Faucheur, feld72, Frei Otto, Johann Gsteu, Rolf Gutbrod, Otto Herbert Hajek, Itsuko Hasegawa, John Hejduk, Hans Hofmann, Hans Hollein, Wilhelm Holzbauer, Clemens Holzmeister, Arata Isozaki, Momoyo Kaijima, Josef Paul Kleihues, Friedrich Kurrent, Vittorio M. Lampugnani, Mark Mack, Kent Martinussen, Marcello Morandini, Ryue Nishizawa, Laurids Ortner, Gustav Peichl, Richard Plunz, Paolo Piva, Marjetica Potrc, Marc Pouzol, Roland Rainer, Kazuyo Sejima, Otto Steidle, Albert Steiner, Heinz Tesar, Takaharu Tezuka, Yui Tezuka, Vladimir Turina, Pierre Vago, Konrad Wachsmann, Günter Zamp Kelp.

Video and Film

Distruktur - Melissa Dullius/Gustavo Jahn, Shaina Anand/Ashok Sukumaran (CAMP), Klaus vom Bruch, Ellen Cantor, cinéma copains - Arne Hector/Minze Tummescheit, Valie Export, Feng Mengbo, Nan Hoover, Anna Konik, Peter Kubelka, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, Gerhard Lechenauer, Zhao Liang, Shirin Neshat & Shoja Azari, Ulrike Rosenbach, Studio Azzurro, Diana Thater, Milica Tomic, Steina und Woody Vasulka.

Stage design

Johannes Dreher, Wolfgang Glück, Karl Maria Grimme, Rosalie, Günther Schneider-Siemssen, Oscar Fritz Schuh.

Theoretical Seminars

Nancy Adajania, Jennifer Allen, Diana Campbell Betancourt, Kimberly Bradley, Lynne Cooke, Bassam El Baroni, Juan A. Gaitán, Bruno Grimschitz, Boris Groys, Dieter Honisch, Robert Jungk, Heinrich Klotz, Anders Kreuger, Wolfgang Kudrnofsky, Maria Lind, Michael Lingner, Raimundas Malašauskas, Federik Mirdita, Ruth Noack, Alya Sebti, Sabrina Steinek, Elaine Sturtevant, Sabine B. Vogel, Joanna Warsza, What, How & for Whom/WHW.