he Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) is the only institution of higher education for fine arts under the administration of the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. The academy has eight specialty schools: School of Chinese Painting, School of Plastic Arts, School of Design, School of Architecture, School of Humanities, School of Urban Design, School of Experimental Art, and Institute of Arts Administration and Education. Besides, the Fine Arts Research Institute, the School of Continuing Education, and the Fine Arts School Affiliated with the China Central Academy of Fine Arts, also come under the umbrella of CAFA. The academy offers specialized secondary programs (the Affiliated High School of Fine Art), college certificate programs (the School of Continuing Education), undergraduate programs, Master’s degree programs, Doctoral degree programs, and visiting scholar programs. At present, there are 662 teachers and staff, over 4,700 domestic undergraduates and graduates, as well as hundreds of international students coming from a dozen countries. The school covers a teaching and research area of 495 mu (around 330,000 square meters), with total floor area of 247,000 square meters.
The academy is committed to building a discipline structure of modern education for fine arts where disciplines such as plastic arts, design, architecture, and humanities support and influence each other. It strives to take lead in building art education system with Chinese characteristics in the new century so as to be highly praised by the international art education community for its high teaching quality and excellent research results with distinctive Chinese characteristics. CAFA has become a leading academy in the field of high education for fine arts in China as well as plays an important role in the world-class fine arts schools.
History of CAFA
The Central Academy of Fine Arts was originally the National Art School in Beiping. The history of National Art School in Beiping might date back to the founding of the National School of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1918, advocated by the notable educator, Cai Yuanpei. Zheng Jin, a famous art educator, served as the first principal of the National School of Fine Arts in Beijing. It was the first national school of fine arts in Chinese history, and also the beginning of Chinese modern education of fine arts.
In November 1949, the National Art School in Beiping merged with the department of fine arts at third campus of North China University, which was originally the department of fine arts at Luxun Academy of Arts in Yan’an founded in 1938. Authorized by the Central People’s Government, the National School of Fine Arts was founded. Chairman Mao Zedong wrote the school name. Xu Beihong served as the first president.