Willem de Kooning Academy

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Willem de Kooning Academie
Rotterdam blaak10.jpg

1773 'Hierdoor tot Hooger'

1998 Willem de Kooning Academie
Students 2,100+ Undergraduate and Postgraduate
Location Rotterdam, Netherlands
Website [1]

The Willem de Kooning Academy is a Dutch Academy of art and design based in Rotterdam and named in memory of Dutch artist Willem de Kooning.


The Willem de Kooning Academy is the art school of Rotterdam and part of the Hogeschool Rotterdam, a university of applied sciences. It is regarded as one of the most prestigious art schools in the country and No. 1 in advertising and copywriting. Previously called the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Academy of Visual Arts), it has since 1998 carried the name of alumnus Willem de Kooning (1904–1997). Willem de Kooning was born in north Rotterdam and graduated in decoration art (now styling). He went to New York at the age of 22 and became a frontman of the Abstract Expressionism painting movement of the 1940s and 1950s.

The Academy's postgraduate programs are in the Piet Zwart Institute, named after faculty alumnus Piet Zwart (1885–1977), who in the 1920s designed stamps, print advertising, books, interiors, furniture (including the Bruynzeel kitchen) and also spent time photographing and painting. He has been officially awarded the title Dutch Designer of the 20th Century.

The Academy is proud of de Kooning and Zwart, two artists far ahead of their time, and who inspire every artist at the Academy, both students and faculty.

History of the Academy[edit]

  • 1781 Rotterdamse Academie
  • 1822 Stadstekenschool voor de Bouwkunde
  • 1832 Volksindustrieschool
  • 1851 Academie van Beeldende Kunsten en Technische Wetenschappen
  • 1970 Academie van Beeldende Kunsten
  • 1998 Willem de Kooning Academie

Although the namechanges the Academy is widely known as the Rotterdamse Academie till 1998.


The Academy undergraduate faculty consist of 14 full-time and 4 part-time programmes leading to a BA degree. The full-time programmes: Animation, Fine Art, AudioVisual, Advertising, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interactive Multimedia, Interior Design, Lifestyle, Fashion Design, Digital Photography, Product Design, Spatial Design and Teacher's Program. The part-time programmes: Teacher's Program, Styling, Visual Communication and Graphic and Drawing.

In the 5th and 6th semester (3rd year) students choose their minor, which can be a specialization or differentiation depending on the major. Student can choose a minor offered by the entire university, or choose one of the Academy minors, which are: Art and the City, 3D Computer Graphics, Copywriting, Forecast and Creative Marketing, Photography, Identity, Art Education in Practice, Art Theory, Brands and Packaging, Motion Graphics, Digital Media Design, Open Project Atelier, Products and Concepts, Editorial Design, Painting, Collection, Graphics, Internet Documentary, Presentation, Environmental Communication and Textiles.

The Piet Zwart Institute consist of 3 full-time postgraduate programmes leading to an MA degree: Fine Art, Interior Design and Media Design (Lens-Based & Networked Media). These programmes are regarded as rigorous and the Institute is highly selective with each of the programmes only admitting 10-12 student annually.


The Willem de Kooning Academy is located at Blaak 10 and Wijnhaven 61, two adherent buildings connected with an airbridge. Blaak 10 has always been regarded as the 'home base' of the Academy. Due to expansion and increase of students enrolling, the adherent Hogeschool Rotterdam building behind, Wijnhaven 61 where the Academy already occupied classrooms, will be entirely Academy starting September 2007. Also, the already existing program Leisure Management, will move to the Academy campus.

Young Talents[edit]

The Academy is regarded the number 1 in Advertising and Copywriting, as many alumna have been responsible for creating some of the most successful advertisements and campaigns in the country and outside. Students participate with national and international contests related to the arts and many participate beyond their own program. Stichting Jaarprijzen Personeelcommunicatie (SJP), a foundation founded to improve recruiting advertisements, yearly awards individuals and companies, for creating the best advertisement. Since 1999 also students are encourage to join and this has led to the establishment of the Jong Talent (young talent) Awards, with 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize, and Honorary Notice.

Since 1999, Academy students received Honorary Notices in all years. And with the exception of 2005, Willem de Kooning Academy students have won Jong Talent Awards every year, often more than 1 prize. In 2003 it claimed all 3 prizes.

Notable Alumni[edit]

  • Per Abramsen (1941)
  • Boris van Berkum (1968)
  • Henk de Bouter (1968)
  • Michiel Brinkman (1873–1925)
  • Lieven De Cauter (1959)
  • Hendrik Chabot (1894–1949)
  • Wim Chabot (1907–1977)
  • Simone Dettmeijer (1944)
  • Dora Dolz (1971)
  • Kees van Dongen (1877–1968)
  • Frans van Eijk (1938)
  • Barend Hooijkaas jr. (1855–1934)
  • Willem Hussem (1900–1974)
  • Clazien Immink (1946)
  • Willem de Kooning (1904–1997)
  • Cor Kraat (1946)
  • Herman van der Kloot Meijburg (1875–1961)
  • Bram Moerland (1939)

External links[edit]