folkwang

14 07 2010

this is where it all started – in ESSEN WERDEN in germany, sept.1969. FOLKWANG SCHOOL, – a very well known artschool, follow-up-school of the BAUHAUS in dessau 1919 – 1933. I even had a few teachers they were taught by bauhaus teachers. that’s why the education-program was pure BAUHAUS, very academic. the selection process based on a submitted portfolio was tough – only 40 students from about 500 were accepted.
of course I could not believe how lucky I was when I got the news that I made it. it was the best time in my life, being able to draw all day together with others as obsessed as I was, learning from teachers we admired. and the school itself was something, it had been a monastery in the 14th century, a pretty big arrangement of very old buildings, with that typical old smell. the mensa looked like AUERBACH’S CELLAR in THE TALES OF HOFFMAN. and the whole village of WERDEN in the hilly suburbs of ESSEN was very charming, with medieval pubs and traditional old houses.
we had lots of fun – some of the parties took place in a house, built in 1377, where two of my friends lived. a lot of the older semesters met during events like that, from all the other faculties as well. very similar to the CAL-ARTS school in valencia/L.A. we had MUSIC, THEATER, DANCE and of course DESIGN, what included GRAPHIC DESIGN, PHOTOGRAPHY, SCULPTURE, PRINTING, TEXTILE DESIGN, INDUSTRIAL DESIGN and PAINTING.
because I had friends in all the other faculties I had a chance to get some 2nd hand education in all those directions, especially PHOTOGRAPHY, TEXTILE-and INDUSTRIAL DESIGN. it was a very good school and a lot of the photography students at that time are today world famous photographers with MAGNUM and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC. the illustration and industrial design group was very well known as well, leading in automobile- and camera design. anyway, at that time we had a lot of different things than to study in our minds.
funny is, that a few years later I started to teach there myself, part time, animation and comic strip illustration. and I became very close friends with a lot of my former teachers. the school had been integrated into the university of essen and the old charme was gone.

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4 responses

15 07 2010
gabey

what a wonderful school this is. by the looks of it, you’ll be inspired all the time inside the walls of these buildings…i’d be happy to even get a chance to visit the place at least and see what real art education is like.

from hans –
hello gabi, you would be depressed. so much has changed. they ‘modernized’ the buildings, the charme is gone even there. and the design-department is housed now in the main university in the big city in an uninspiring extremely ugly neighbourhood. I prefer to look at the old pictures – and dream…

17 07 2010
gabey

aw that’s such bad news. at least there are these photos to remember the better days of the school. thanks so much for sharing them to us though.

what is it with art schools and modernized buildings? (though somehow i think the modernized building of folkwang is better than what we have here at least…haha)

17 07 2010
thomy

wow, that looks amazing!!!
for sure you had a great time.
no wonder that many talents shared this place….

29 07 2010
jan falkenberg

It’s sad but true: The main university is TOTALLY uninspiring and I’m sad that
we never do “drink and draw”-nights nowadays.
At least we have m tom dieck as a new main teacher.

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