Organisation and history
Malmö Art Academy is an internationally renowned fine arts academy at Lund University, one of Sweden´s leading universities of high international standing.
Malmö Art Academy is a state-financed school with approximately 80 students, and has been offering higher education in fine arts since 1995. Together with Malmö Academy of Music, Malmö Theatre Academy and Inter Arts Center it forms the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts at Lund University. Malmö Art Academy was set up in 1995 by Lund University. Lund University’s remit for the new art academy included the ambition that the academy be interdisciplinary and international. The academy became the first school in Sweden to actively avoid the so-called professors’ school model. No divisions were created at the academy; the idea was to make the hierarchies as horizontal as possible. Another central concept was the requirement for students to be independent, and to engage in self-directed learning through a flexible and individualized curriculum. Furthermore, gender equality and equal representation has been the core of the school since the beginning, and still is.
Our study programmes offer students the opportunity to work with internationally active artists and teachers. The lecturers’ expertise covers a broad spectrum of interests and media in which individual supervision of the student is central. The language of tuition is usually English. The students’ commitment and influence on the design of the study programme are given high priority. In 2014, Malmö Art Academy was assessed as being of very high quality, with regard to both its BFA and MFA programmes, by the Swedish Higher Education Authority’s quality evaluation of all higher education in fine arts in Sweden.
Malmö Art Academy cooperates with other fine arts programmes all over the world and has built up strong networks over the years. The education offered at Malmö Art Academy also benefits from the active artistic climate in the Öresund region with its many galleries, museums and other arts institutions in a markedly cosmopolitan context. Lectures from visiting internationally active artists, critics and curators, as well as various forms of collaborative projects, are natural elements of Malmö Art Academy’s activities.
Several graduates of Malmö Art Academy have become successful artists who have earned strong international recognition.
Malmö Art Academy is an internationally renowned fine arts programme at Lund University, one of Sweden´s strongest universities and of high international standing. Malmö Art Academy is a state-financed school with approximately 80 students and forms together with Malmö Academy of Music, Malmö Theatre Academy and Inter Arts Center, the Faculty of Fine and Performing Arts at Lund University.
Malmö Art Academy management consists of rector Maj Hasager and head of administration Silvana Hed.
The Department Board is the top decision-making body at the academy. It consists of three members of the teaching staff (including the rector), the head of administration , one member of the technical and administrative personnel and two student representatives. The Department Board meets once a month. The student representatives usually meet one week before the Board meeting.
The Equality Board is an important organ ensuring systematic and preventive work against discrimination. The board consists of the rector, staff and students.
The Workshop Committee consists of five students, all the technicians and engineers, one teacher and the head of administration. The Committee advises on the organization of and equipment in the workshops. Decisions are made by the Department Board.
The Budget Committee consists of the rector, the head of administration , two teachers, three students and the financial administrator. Decisions are made by the Department Board.
Malmö Art Academy was set up in 1995 by Lund University. Its study programmes were offered in the former Mellersta Förstadsskolan in central Malmö, a building that was considered a model of modern school architecture in 1900.
Lund University’s remit for the new school included the ambition that the academy be interdisciplinary and international. The academy became the first school in Sweden to actively avoid the so-called professors’ school model. No divisions were created at the academy; the idea was to make the hierarchies as horizontal as possible. Another central concept was the requirement for students to be independent. It is still the case that meetings with lecturers take place on the students’ own initiative.
Malmö Art Academy wanted to make the most of the artistic expertise of its lecturers and professors. That is why there is still no administration included in the duties of lecturers and professors. The academy also wished to facilitate the continuation of the artistic careers of its lecturers and professors, enabling them to participate in major international contexts. Hence lecturers and professors have come, and continue to come, to the academy for certain periods in order to free up time for their artistic work. To extend opportunities for students to benefit from a broad spectrum of artistic supervision, external supervisors were also introduced in 1996. External supervisors are internationally active artists who come to the academy five times per year.
The academy’s first yearbook came out in 1996 and has been published every year since then. See previous yearbooks here.
Malmö Art Academy was the first art academy in Sweden to invite external contributors to examinations in 1996. The academy wanted both to ensure its quality in an international context and to reinforce students’ chances of being correctly assessed. The external examiners have primarily been internationally active curators such as Bart de Baere, Charles Esche, Lynne Cooke, Carolyn Christov-Barkagiev, Maria Lind, Iwona Blazwick, Dirk Snauwert, Jürgen Bock, Robert Storr, Sabine Folie, Brigitte Franzen, Lisa Le Fevre, Martin Clark , Lolita Jablonska, Jochen Volz, Mats Stjernstedt, Jens Fänge, Abraham Cruz-Villegas, John Peter Nilsson, Martin Clark.
Malmö Art Academy launched a Master’s degree programme in Fine Arts in 2002, the same year the PhD programme in Fine Arts was established. Malmö Art Academy was the first institution in Sweden to award three doctoral degrees in Fine Arts in 2006, to Sopowan Boonimitra, Miya Yoshida and Matts Leiderstam.
The Bachelor’s degree programme in Fine Arts was introduced in 2007.
Critical Studies was first set up as a one-year Master’s programme in 2001, started by Simon Sheikh. It became a two-year Master’s programme in 2008–2010. The two-year Master’s degree programme in Critical and Pedagogical Studies was launched in 2011. In Autumn 2019 the programme was rev to a new programme, the Master programme of Fine Arts in Artistic Research, a two-year full-time education program. The purpose of the program is to prepare visual artists to define and formulate a research project in Fine arts that aims at admission to a doctoral program in Fine arts.
Over the years, the following people have worked as professors and lecturers at the academy: Lars Nilsson, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Annette Abrahamsson, Niels Bonde, Axel Lieber, Jimmie Durham, Sophie Tottie, Jens Fänge, Andrea Geyer, Matthew Buckingham, Simon Sheikh, Annika Eriksson.
The external supervisors have included Sigurdur Gudmundsson, Berend Strik, Cecilia Edefalk, Voobe de Gruyter, Eva Löfdahl, Olav Christopher Jenssen.
Gertrud Sandqvist was Rector of Malmö Art Academy from 1995 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2020. Anders Kreuger was the Director of Malmö Academy from 2007 to 2010.