Vilnius Academy of Arts is the largest and oldest art university in the Baltic States, established in 1793 as an Architecture department within the School of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in Vilnius. At the end of the 19th century it was closed, together with Vilnius University, by the tsarist government and then reopened in 1919. After World War II the Academy was merged with the Kaunas Art Institute and renamed The State Art Institute of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania. In 1990 the Academy regained its current title of Vilnius Academy of Arts.

Since 1990, more than 50 lecturers and alumni of the Academy have been awarded National Cultural and Art Awards. Today the Academy has more than 1,500 students studying in four faculty locations – Vilnius, Kaunas, Telšiai and Klaipėda. Each faculty has its own unique Undergraduate and Graduate study programmes, offering Lithuanian students the possibility to find specific art specializations in different cities. The Academy conducts Postgraduate studies in Fine Arts, Design and Art Criticism.

The Academy is also a member of several international associations for higher education in art and design. And student diversity is enriched through international exchange programmes, such as  Erasmus+ and Nordplus, to promote positive intercultural connections throughout the entire university. Today the Academy has more than 170 academic partners and supports more than 90 outgoing and 50-70 incoming students each academic year. Around 40 visiting professors help to ensure the development of international expertise and the exchange of new ideas between students and staff. 

A prime example of international collaboration at the Academy is Nida Art Colony. Open all year round, the Colony hosts workshops, intensive courses, seminars, artist talks and screenings, as well as an artist-in-residence programme for experienced and emerging artists, designers, architects, curators, art critics and researchers from around the world.

Networks and associations

Vilnius Academy of Arts is a member in following associations and networks:

Globally connected European network ELIA 

International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media CUMULUS

Nordic-Baltic Network of Art and Design Education CIRRUS

Nordplus Network of Nordic-Baltic Fine Art Academies/KUNO

Worldwide Network of Artist Residencies RES ARTIS

Worldwide Network of Architecture, Interaction Design and Textile Education ArcInTex

Network for Nordic and Baltic Higher Art Education institutions EDDA Norden

Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship