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History

Nanjing University of the Arts is one of the earliest art academies ever built in China. It may be traced back to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts founded by Liu Haisu in 1912. As China’s first school of fine arts in the modern times, Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts was officially founded on November 23, 1912 at No. 7 Zhapu Road, Shanghai, before finally settled on Caishi Road, the old French Concession, after several relocations. It was later renamed Shanghai Academy of Picture Arts in 1915, Shanghai Fine Arts Special School in 1921, and Shanghai Fine Arts School in 1930. The school initially set Painting Department which was later changed into Western Painting Department. In 1919, it was added up to 6 departments: Chinese Painting, Western Painting, Art Designing, Sculpture, Higher Teacher-training and Junior Teacher-training, and established the Shanghai Fine Arts School Board of Directors composed of Cai Yuanpei, Zhao Jujiao, Wang Zhen, Shen Enfu, Huang Yanpei and other social celebrities. Till then, it had completed the construction of a large-scale school of fine arts.

In September 1922, Yan Wenliang established Suzhou Fine Arts School, which was renamed Suzhou Fine Arts School in October 1932. In May 1950, the 6 art troupes (groups) in Shandong Liberated Area and the East China University Department of Literature and Arts were reorganized into the Department of Fine Arts, East China University, which was later included in the Department of Fine Arts of Shandong University on 8, December.

In 1952, restructuring of universities and colleges was launched in China. In accordance with the decision of the Chinese Ministry of Culture, Shanghai Fine Arts School, Suzhou Fine Arts School and the Department of Fine Arts of Shandong University were consolidated before giving birth to East China Fine Arts School, which was finally completed on December 8 in the same year. The newly-born East China Fine Arts School was located in Sheqiao, Wuxi. Since then, December 8 has been set the anniversary day of Nanjing University of the Arts. East China Fine Arts School had two major departments- the Department of Fine Arts and the Music Department, as well as a creation lab. Under each department, there were a number of majors, nearly covering all majors relating to arts. Students had to study here for 3 years before graduation. The system of the school became increasingly perfect.

In January 1958, East China Fine Arts School was relocated to Dingjiaqiao, Nanjing, and renamed Nanjing Fine Arts School in June of the same year. On June 10, 1959, it was renamed again by Jiangsu Provincial Government and the new name was Nanjing University of the Arts. And students were required to study for 4 years before graduating from the university. Finally, Nanjing University of the Arts completed the construction of its organizational structure.

In May 1967, Nanjing University of the Arts changed the address to No. 1 Huangguayuan, Nanjing. During the Cultural Revolution, to adapt to the current political situation, on November 23, 1969, Nanjing University of the Arts merged with the Department of Fine Arts and the Music Department of Nanjing Normal University and Jiangsu Drama School into Jiangsu Revolutionary Literature and Art School. In November 1972, it changed back to its original name, and was relocated to No. 77 Western Beijing Road, and began to enroll undergraduates of regular classes.

In September 1977, it began to enroll undergraduates with its 4-year educational system while addressing itself at No. 15 North Huju Road, Nanjing. Since the 1980s and the 1990s, it has been developing rapidly. Today, Nanjing University of the Arts has become a new-type integrated art university featured by a multi-discipline and multi-layered (undergraduates, graduates and Ph.D. candidates) educational system.