The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is one of the oldest Art Academy of its sort in Europe, the academy was constituted in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Teniers was master of the Guild of St Luke that imbibed the arts and some handicraft and requisitioned the Philip IV of Spain, then master of the Spanish Netherlands, to provide a grant royal charter to found a fine arts academy in Antwerp.
The Royal Academy then after was developed into an internationally recognized and reputed institute of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design. Since the nineteenth century the academy is a favorite institute of young artists from outside including the Irish, German, Dutch and Polish artists going for a much classified and a solid classical training at on their way to Antwerp. Under the supervision of Gustave Wappers (1803-1874) and his registrar Hendrik Conscience the academy developed and restructured at its best level. The academy’s best art collection there was shown at its own gallery space. By 1890 this gallery developed into the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and placed at its current location in Antwerp.
In 1880, a talented young artist Henry Van de Velde was enrolled into at the Antwerp Academy. There he became one of the pioneering 20th century architects and designers. In 1885 and 1886 Vincent Van Gogh too spent some of his time at the Antwerp academy, before he departed to the France. In 1885, King Leopold II constituted the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts Antwerp (Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten) as an extraordinary post graduate program, as inspired by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
In due course in 20th century in 1946, the Architecture program developed into an independent institute, The National Higher Institute of Architecture. In 1963 in the institute the course of the Fashion Design started. The course was slightly successful from the very start. And was amazingly successful in early eighties with the “The Antwerp Six” along with Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Ann Demeulemeester and was much talked about in Media. The fashion program at the institute attracted as much as talents from all around the globe. It has about 130 students at its list as is the largest program in the visual arts and design department.
Nowadays, The Academy provides three distinctive programs like as Visual Arts and Design, Conservation studies and a one year dedicated teachers training. About 540 students there work in the four main buildings situated in the center of the city, Mutsaardstraat, Silversmithing, Jewelry, Theatre Costume Design and Fine Arts, Nationale Strata and Keizerstraat.