The Hungarian University of Fine Arts

The Hungarian University of Fine Arts provides education and training to the future actors of the Hungarian cultural scene in all areas of the visual arts.

Our institution, during the course of its history, has preserved the traditional basis on which its educational program has been founded, while also seeking and cultivating continuous renewal, as evidenced by our new departments which began their operation in congruity with the fresh trends of contemporary arts in the past few decades.

In addition to practical training, theoretical subjects comprise a fundamental component of education at the HUFA.

Extending far beyond a general scope, a firm background in the specialized visual art-related branches of history, theory, sociology and psychology are of indispensable importance for our students. A high standard training for such a gifted group of students (chosen from an immense pool of applicants) demands more than a general grasp of art theory: it requires a strong theoretical grounding that is worthy of our students’ abilities and organically relates to the particularities of visual art.

The last 100 years in the history of fine arts has seen a rich array of fresh styles and trends. The emergence of a new style, whoever, has never resulted in a complete disappearance of the old: all approaches have remained “valid,” insofar as the talent of the artist allowed. While art cannot be rigid – outside influences must always be reacted to with sensitivity –, there have always been artists, who persisted in their use of a personally developed style, continuously shaping it, adjusting it, and increasing its complexity by incorporating new elements, but never quite surrendering the original concept.

It seems that a clearly dominant, popular contemporary style has not crystallized. The plurality of various forms exists on multiple levels; they can coexist with each other, side by side. Experimenters never quite fit in and it is natural for them to always encounter difficulties. Artists who wish to satisfy the demands of the general public must provide entertainment. Those nonconformists, however, whose art meets other functions, remain unique. In this way, old renegades and timid youngsters equally exist among artists.

Talented individuals are among the most highly prized treasures of a country; they determine the course of development and mark the direction in the arts. Society must seek to understand and support them. They must be given time for contemplation, for their personality to unfold and strengthen, so that they can prepare for a professional career, cultivate their heritage, and create new qualities. This is a challenging task not only for young talents, but also for the University, as, we are living in times when taking responsibility for ideas originating from one’s inner conviction is once again of import.

Prof. Frigyes Kőnig DLA, habil
Rector of the HUFA between 2005-2013


Rector, professor: Dr. habil. Judit Csanádi DLA
Vice-rector for strategy, associate professor: Dr. habil. Sándor Sólymos
Vice-rector for educational affairs, associate professor: Dr. habil. Eszter Radák DLA
Vice-rector for scientific and international affairs, professor: Dr. habil. Miklós Peternák CSc.
Chancellor: Éva Rakonczai
Head of the Rector's Cabinet: Anita Vodál
Head of the Chancellor's Office: Gábor Füzesi
Head of the Department of Finance: Ákos Régeni
Head of the Office of Procurement and Facilities: Zsolt Ködmön
Head of the Department of International Relations and Exhibitions: Edit Rohonczi
Director of the Library, Archives, Fine Arts Collection: Istvánné Antal
Head of the Registrar’s Department: Istvánné Pongó

History of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts

1861 Foundation of the Hungarian Fine Arts Society.

1871 Foundation of Hungarian Royal School of Model Drawing.

1873 The school introduces itself at the World Expo in Vienna.

1876/77 The first academic year of the Hungarian Royal School of Model Drawing in the new building on Andrássy Avenue.

1882 The first Painting Master School under the direction of Gyula Benczúr begins its operations.

1893 Four kinds of teaching degrees are awarded by the school (secondary school, drawing, teacher training school, and vocational training school).

1895/96 Extension of the building of the Hungarian Royal School of Model Drawing and Draughtsmanship Teacher Training towards Izabella Street.

1896 The Applied Arts School becomes an independent entity from the Model Drawing School. The study program is extended to four years.

1897 Separation of drawing teacher training and art education. Establishment of the second Master School for Painting, under the direction of Károly Lotz and the Master School for Sculpture, with the guidance of Alajos Stróbl.

1905 Director of the second Master School for Painting: Bertalan Székely, director of the Model Drawing School: Pál Szinyei-Merse.

1906/07 Launching of a new technical course in graphics, lead by Viktor Olgyai.

1908 The Master Schools and the Women’s Painting School merge with the Model Drawing School. The name of the institution becomes Hungarian Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

1911/12 Evening life drawing course begins.

1914/15 The building becomes a military hospital; lectures are given in rented studio spaces and other locations (including the Museum of Fine Arts, the Castle Bazaar, and the Museum of Agriculture).

1920 Károly Lyka is appointed deputy director.

1921 Educational reform at the Academy: elaboration of new regulations regarding organization, the entrance exam and the curriculum. The Academy establishes its autonomy as an institution.

1944/45 World War II brings crisis, the academic year does not commence.

1945/46 The Academy is reopened after the war with such teachers as Pál Pátzay, Aurél Bernáth, Jenő Barcsay, Róbert Berény, János Kmetty, Endre Domanovszky, Géza Fónyi, Béni Ferenczy, Nándor Lajos Varga, Gyula Hincz and Károly Koffán.

1948 The new Painting Conservation Program is launched.

1970 The Sculpture Conservation program begins.

1971 The Academy acquires university status and becomes the Hungarian University of Fine Arts.

1974 A part-time Object Conservation Program is launched in collaboration with the Hungarian National Museum.

1976 The Tihany Artist Colony begins its operation.

1978/79 The Scenography Program is established, first in the framework of post-graduate courses and later as an independent program.

1990 Establishment of the Intermedia Department.

1998 The University joins the Erasmus Program within the framework of the Lifelong Learning Program.

2002 The Hungarian Accreditation Committee approves the Doctoral Programme of the Hungarian University of Fine Arts (DLA, Doctor fo Liberal Arts)

2003 The art collection of the University is established, based on the collections of the Library and the Graphics Department.

2008/09 BA Program in Applied Scenography is launched.

2009/10 Establishment of the Art Theory and Curatorial Studies Department, launching of the BA Program.

2011/12 First year of the MA Program in Scenography.

2012/13 New MA Program in Contemporary Art Theory and Curatorial Studies.