The annual conference of The Dresden Network and Research Project “Pioneers of Design Education” will be held from 19 to 20 May 2022, online. Miklós Székely, senior research fellow and deputy director of the Institute of Art History will present his paper: “Education and Design in Transylvanian Schools of Arts and Crafts around 1900” 

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Although being pioneers of modern design education, early Schools of Decorative Arts still lack basic art historical research, especially from their beginnings in the middle of the 19th century until World War I. From early on, the schools continuously reformed and refined their concepts. In doing so, they became an important field for experimentation that built the base for design education as we know it today. Schools of Decorative Arts – also referred to as “Schools of Applied Arts” or “Schools of Arts and Crafts” – were not only a European, but a worldwide phenomenon and each institution was connected to its particular economic, aesthetic and sometimes colonial matters. The 2022 conference of the research network „Pioneers of Design Education. New Perspectives on German Schools of Decorative Arts before the Bauhaus“ hosted by the Design Campus, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, in cooperation with the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, sheds light on the global history of design education, beginning with London and Vienna, extending the focus from wider Europe to Russia, India, China and the United States. The history of the Schools of Decorative Arts is a history of connections, exchange and mobility of people and ideas that can still inspire us today.