Amsterdam, a city renowned for its rich cultural heritage and artistic vibrancy, is home to some of the most prestigious art schools in Europe.
With a history dating back centuries, the city has been a hub of creativity and innovation, attracting artists and thinkers from all corners of the globe.
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Today, the art schools in Amsterdam continue to foster and nurture the next generation of creative minds, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the ever-evolving world of art.
Whether you are interested in painting, sculpture, photography, or any other form of artistic expression, Amsterdam has something to offer. In this article, we will explore the top art schools in Amsterdam and how they are shaping the future of the art world.
The List of Art Schools in Amsterdam
So, if you’re thinking of pursuing a career in art, or simply want to broaden your creative horizons, read on to discover the exciting world of art schools in Amsterdam.
Gerrit Rietveld Academie
Founded in 1924, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie is one of the most prestigious art schools in Amsterdam. It was named after the renowned Dutch furniture designer and architect, Gerrit Rietveld. The academy offers courses in various fields of study, including fine arts, design, and architecture.
Many notable artists have graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, including the conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader and the painter Marlene Dumas. The academy has also produced several renowned designers such as Hella Jongerius and Iris van Herpen.
In 2013, the Gerrit Rietveld Academie was ranked as the third-best art school in the world by Business Insider. It continues to attract talented students from all over the world. Find more information here.
Amsterdam Fashion Academy
The Amsterdam Fashion Academy was founded in 1992 as a small fashion school. It has since grown into one of the most prominent fashion schools in Europe, offering courses in fashion design, management, and branding.
The academy has produced many successful fashion designers, including Claes Iversen and David Laport. It has also received recognition for its commitment to sustainability and ethical fashion practices.
In 2019, the Amsterdam Fashion Academy was ranked as the fourth-best fashion school in the world by the influential website, Fashionista. Find more information here.
Dutch National Ballet Academy
The Dutch National Ballet Academy was established in 1978 as the official school of the Dutch National Ballet. It provides world-class training for aspiring dancers, with a focus on classical ballet.
Many of the academy’s graduates have gone on to successful careers with the Dutch National Ballet, as well as with other prestigious dance companies around the world. Notable alumni include Igone de Jongh and Maia Makhateli.
The Dutch National Ballet Academy has received numerous awards and recognitions for its excellence in dance education, including the prestigious Erasmus Prize in 2013. Find more information here.
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AHK Theatre School
The AHK Theatre School is the leading theatre school in Amsterdam, offering courses in acting, directing, and theatre design. It was founded in 1987 as a merger of several existing theatre schools in the city.
The school has produced many successful actors and theatre professionals, including Halina Reijn and Ivo van Hove. It has also received recognition for its innovative approach to theatre education.
In 2018, the AHK Theatre School was named the best theatre school in the Netherlands by the influential magazine, Theatermaker. Find more information here.
The New School Amsterdam
The New School Amsterdam was established in 2009 as a contemporary arts school, offering courses in fine arts, design, and music. It is known for its innovative approach to art education, emphasizing experimentation and interdisciplinary collaboration.
The school has produced many talented artists, including the painter Koen van den Broek and the photographer Viviane Sassen. It has also received recognition for its commitment to social and environmental sustainability.
In 2020, The New School Amsterdam was named one of the top ten art schools in the Netherlands by the influential website, Studiekeuze123. Find more information here.
Amsterdam University of the Arts
Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK) is a renowned art school in Amsterdam that offers a range of programs in art, music, theatre, and dance.
It was established in 1987 through the merger of several Dutch art academies. AHK has gained a reputation as one of the top art schools in Europe, known for its high-quality education and innovative approach to the arts.
The school’s alumni include many prominent artists, musicians, actors, and dancers, including Carice van Houten, Halina Reijn, and Job Cohen. Find more information here.
Founded in 1968, Fotoacademie Amsterdam is the oldest photography school in the Netherlands. It offers a range of courses and programs in photography and video, including a four-year bachelor’s degree program.
Fotoacademie Amsterdam has a strong reputation for its focus on the artistic and creative aspects of photography, and its graduates have gone on to become successful photographers and filmmakers, including Rineke Dijkstra, Anton Corbijn, and Dana Lixenberg. Find more information here.
Academie voor Theater en Dans
The Academie voor Theater en Dans (ATD) is a leading performing arts school in Amsterdam. It was established in 2011 through the merger of several Dutch performing arts academies.
ATD offers programs in theatre, dance, and production, and has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and experimentation. The school’s alumni include many successful actors, dancers, and directors, including Marwan Kenzari, Caro Emerald, and Nasrdin Dchar. Find more information here.
Wackers Academie is a private art school in Amsterdam that was founded in 1984 by artist and teacher Sam Drukker.
The school offers courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture, and has a strong focus on the classical techniques of the old masters.
Wackers Academie has gained a reputation for its rigorous and traditional approach to art education, and its graduates have gone on to become successful artists and teachers, including Daan van Golden, Bart Domburg, and Olphaert den Otter. Find more information here.
Kunstacademie Haarlem is an art school located just outside of Amsterdam, in the city of Haarlem. It was founded in 1983 and offers a range of courses in fine art, design, and photography.
The school has a strong focus on experimentation and encourages students to develop their own artistic style and voice.
Kunstacademie Haarlem has a reputation for its supportive and collaborative community of artists, and its graduates have gone on to achieve success in a range of artistic fields, including graphic design, illustration, and painting. Find more information here.
Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten
The Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten is a postgraduate art institute located in Amsterdam. It was founded in 1870 as the “Rijksnormaalschool voor Teekenonderwijzers” (State Normal School for Drawing Teachers).
The school became known as the Rijksakademie in 1922. The institute has a long history of providing a platform for talented artists to develop their skills and produce groundbreaking work.
The Rijksakademie has an international reputation for excellence and is considered one of the leading art schools in Europe. Famous alumni include Piet Mondrian, Karel Appel, and Marlene Dumas. Find more information here.
ArtEZ Institute of the Arts
ArtEZ Institute of the Arts is a Dutch vocational university located in various cities, including Amsterdam. It was founded in 2002 and offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in fine art, design, and music.
ArtEZ has gained recognition for its progressive approach to education and focus on interdisciplinary collaboration.
The institute has produced many notable alumni, including fashion designers Viktor & Rolf and artist Navid Nuur. Find more information here.
Beroepsopleiding Fotografie Amsterdam
The Beroepsopleiding Fotografie Amsterdam (Professional Photography Education Amsterdam) is a vocational school for photography. It was founded in 1996 and offers a three-year program that covers technical, theoretical, and practical aspects of photography.
The school has a strong reputation for producing skilled photographers who are equipped to work in a variety of fields, including commercial photography and photojournalism. Famous alumni include photographer and filmmaker Dana Lixenberg and documentary photographer Bertien van Manen. Find more information here.
CREA Amsterdam is a cultural center located on the campus of the University of Amsterdam. It was founded in 1983 and offers courses in various artistic disciplines, including theater, music, and visual arts.
CREA is known for its inclusive approach to education and commitment to social and cultural diversity.
The center has hosted numerous events and exhibitions over the years and has become an important hub for the city’s arts scene. Find more information here.
Design Academy Eindhoven
The Design Academy Eindhoven is a prestigious design school located in Eindhoven, about an hour’s drive from Amsterdam. It was founded in 1947 as the “Akademie Industriële Vormgeving Eindhoven” (Eindhoven Academy of Industrial Design).
The school has gained worldwide recognition for its innovative approach to design education and has produced many notable alumni, including designers Hella Jongerius and Maarten Baas.
The Design Academy Eindhoven has been ranked as one of the top design schools in the world by various publications, including BusinessWeek and Domus. Find more information here.
Master Institute of Visual Cultures – St. Joost School of Fine Art & Design
Located in Amsterdam, the Master Institute of Visual Cultures – St. Joost School of Fine Art & Design is one of the most prestigious art schools in the Netherlands.
Established in 1812, it has a rich history of producing some of the finest artists and designers in the world.
The school’s curriculum is focused on developing the students’ creative and critical thinking skills, while also teaching them about the history and theory of art and design.
The alumni of the Master Institute of Visual Cultures – St. Joost School of Fine Art & Design include renowned artists like Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondrian.
The school has also been recognized for its excellence in art and design education by organizations like the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Association of Dutch Art Schools. Find more information here.
The Nederlandse Filmacademie, also known as the Dutch Film Academy, is a renowned film school located in Amsterdam. It was founded in 1958 and has since become one of the most respected film schools in the world.
The school’s curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in all aspects of film production, from screenwriting to directing and editing.
Famous alumni of the Nederlandse Filmacademie include Paul Verhoeven, who directed films like “RoboCop” and “Total Recall,” and Alex van Warmerdam, who directed “The Dress” and “Borgman.” The school has also won numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Dutch Academy Award for Best Film School. Find more information here.
Universiteit van Amsterdam – Conservatorium van Amsterdam
The Universiteit van Amsterdam – Conservatorium van Amsterdam is a leading music school located in the heart of Amsterdam. Founded in 1884, it has a long history of excellence in music education.
The school’s curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in classical and contemporary music, as well as jazz and world music.
Famous alumni of the Universiteit van Amsterdam – Conservatorium van Amsterdam include jazz saxophonist Candy Dulfer and composer Theo Loevendie.
The school has also been recognized for its excellence in music education by organizations like the European Association of Conservatoires and the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Find more information here.
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Willem de Kooning Academy
The Willem de Kooning Academy is a leading art school located in Rotterdam, just a short distance from Amsterdam. Founded in 1948, it is named after the Dutch American abstract expressionist painter Willem de Kooning.
The school’s curriculum is designed to provide students with a comprehensive education in all aspects of art and design.
Famous alumni of the Willem de Kooning Academy include graphic designer Irma Boom and fashion designer Viktor&Rolf. The school has also won numerous awards and recognitions, including the prestigious Dutch Design Award and the International Society of Typographic Designers Award. Find more information here.
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Art and Culture Studies
The Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Art and Culture Studies is a leading interdisciplinary program focused on the study of art and culture. Established in 1978, it offers students a unique blend of theory and practice, combining academic research with hands-on experience in the arts.
Famous alumni of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam – Art and Culture Studies program include art historian and curator Janneke Wesseling and cultural theorist Mieke Bal.
The program has also been recognized for its excellence in interdisciplinary arts and culture education by organizations like the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the European Association for Cultural Researchers. Find more information here.