Decree from 1817During the 19th century, there was an apparent bias towards the practical arts, as applied by craftspeople and industries. Successive directors’ aspirations to embrace the ‘fine arts’ were repeatedly stymied by the municipal authority and local entrepreneurs who were unwilling to relinquish any control, particularly over the purse strings and administrative tasks. The courses they ran were short, and attended by lots of young people and, on occasion, children. From the turn of the century, around 1900, when the Stadsteekeninstituut (city drawing institute) was founded, the fine arts featured more prominently - for a select few, talented students, at least. At that time, however, the courses were firmly rooted in traditional crafts such as the pottery industry (ceramic artists) and, predominantly, church-building (since Cuypers, Roermond). A handful of talented students went on to become monument painters (wall and plate glass art), chiefly those who went on to study in Amsterdam or Antwerp and had enough free time on their hands to practise the free arts. The establishment of the Middelbare Kunstnijverheidsschool (Secondary School of Arts and Crafts, MKS) in 1926 ushered in a close, collaborative relationship between teachers and students. The study programme in the decorative, monumental and applied arts dovetailed with the sense of community at the time, which was embraced by Christian and socialist circles alike. Unsurprisingly, this development coincided with the emancipation of the Roman Catholic population of the Netherlands, and of Limburg in particular, as a corollary of the thriving mining industry and improved access to the rest of the country. From the late 1930s onwards, attention shifted gradually away from traditional crafts, towards design - a trend that really accelerated from the 1960s onwards. The visual arts were taught in a ‘scholarly’ way. The free arts, meanwhile, were becoming largely the preserve of advanced programmes: since the 19th century, the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam and, from 1948, the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Partly at the behest of the Jan van Eyck Academie, in 1959 the Middelbare Kunstnijverheidsschool was renamed the Stadsacademie voor Toegepaste Kunsten (City Academy of Applied Arts).Snapshot of life at the Academy at that time:
In 1823, the Stadsteekenschool was established in Maastricht. This was as a follow-up to King William I's 1817 decree on art education in the Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden.