Royal Academy of Art, The Hague

Royal Academy of Art The Hague
Academic affiliation
University of the Arts in The Hague
PresidentMarieke Schoenmakers

The Royal Academy of Art (Dutch: Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten, KABK) is a renowned art academy in The Hague. Succeeding the Haagsche Teeken-Academie (part of the Confrerie Pictura), the academy was founded on 29 September 1682, making it the oldest in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world.[1] It has been training ground for a number of significant artists of the Hague School and it was part of the art movement of Dutch Impressionism and was also in the immediate vicinity of the II. Golden Age of Dutch painting. However, in the 19th century the training for a long time was still strongly oriented towards the classic curriculum. At the end of the 19th century this academy had opened to Modernism, too.


The old building of the Royal Academy of Art in the Prinsessegracht, Den Haag, 1930.
Entrance area of the Royal Academy of Art, Prinsessegracht 3-4, 1930.

The Royal Academy of Art The Hague, was founded on September 29, 1682 by Willem Doudijns, Theodor van der Schuer, Daniel Mijtens the Younger, Robert Duval and Augustinus Terwesten as the Haagsche Teeken-Academie (engl.: "The Hague Drawing Academy".) In the evening there were drawings classes and on Saturday the society debated about art.[2][3]

In the 18th century the Hague Academy was a thriving institution. The end of the 18th century were difficult times due to the absence of any financial support. The low point was around 1800, when the academy was working with less than ten students.[1][4]

Under William I of the Netherlands finally support returned and the old and important institute grew. In 1821 the drawing education was combined with the newly established School of Civil Engineering.[5] After being housed in the Korenbeurs and Boterwaag in 1839, a new neoclassical building was designed by city architect Zeger Reyers (1790-1857), located at the Prinsessegracht.

In the 19th century the famous artists Johannes Bosboom, Isaac Israels, Willem Maris, Jan Hendrik Weissenbruch and George Hendrik Breitner were trained here. In 1937 on the site of the ancient temple completed a new academy building designed by J.H. Plantenga (1891–c. 1945), J.W.E. Buijs en J.B. Lürsen.

In 1990 the Royal Academy merged with the Royal Conservatory of The Hague into the "School of Visual Arts, Music and Dance". In 2010 the Dutch government elevated the joint institutions to "University of the Arts in The Hague". The two do also still go by their original names as well, to underline their individual identities.

The academy every two years awards the Gerrit Noordzij Prize initial designs.