Located near the promenade of Qinhuai River, the mother river of Nanjing, Nanjing University of the Arts is the only comprehensive arts institute in Jiangsu Province. Nanjing University of the Arts is also the earliest art academy established in China. The history of Nanjing University of the Arts can be traced back to the year of 1912 when Mr. Liu Haisu, the founder of art education in China, and several of his friends first set up Shanghai Chinese Art College, and later changed its name into Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts of in 1930. Mr. Cai Yuanpei, the Chairman of the Board of the school, wrote the lyrics for the school song, and also made the motto and the discipline for the school. In 1922 Yan Weiliang, another famous artist of the time, set up Suzhou Fine Arts College in Suzhou. Both Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts of and Suzhou Fine Arts College, the earliest private art schools in China amalgamated with the department of fine arts and music of Shandong University in the nation-wide adjustment of colleges and faculties in 1952 and changed its name into East China Arts College. The new site for the college was in Sheqiao, Wuxi, Jiangsu province, and the amalgamation was completed on December 8 which later became the anniversary of the founding of Nanjing Arts Institute. In 1958 East China Arts College was relocated in Ding Jiaqiao of Nanjing, and in the June of the same year the school changed its name into Nanjing Arts College, and in 1959 into Nanjing Arts Institute, which marked the completion of the founding process and the ultimate establishment of a four-year academic institution. In 1967 the campus of Nanjing University of the Arts was moved to No. 15, Huju Road (N), Nanjing. After a century of development and construction, during which the school has underwent trials and tribulations, Nanjing University of the Arts has now become a comprehensive higher educational institution of arts whose great influence can be found both in China and around the world.
Nanjing University of the Arts covers an area of about 700 acres, and the existing school buildings cover an area of 300,000 square meters. Presently, Nanjing University of the Arts has over 100,00 students, including 8997 undergraduates, 908 master's degree candidates, 109 doctoral candidates, more than 50 international students, 1600 registered adult learners,and 400 attatched middle school students. Nanjing University of the Arts currently consists of 14 schools, including schools of fine arts, music, design, media, movie and television, dance, popular music, humanities, industrial design, cultural industry, as well as the Summit College, College of Vocational and Adult Education, and school of international education. Apart from these schools, Nanjing University of the Arts has an academic research institute, a modern educational technology center, the attached secondary school as well as other teaching subsidiary units. According to the disciplinary division stipulated by the Ministry of Education, Nanjing University of the Arts has27 divisions of majors, including fine arts studies, painting, sculpture, art and design studies, design, industrial design, costume design, animation, photography, musicology, music performing, composing and related theories, choreography, dancing, performing art, literature of dramas and films, art education, management of public utilities, recording, broadcasting and anchoring, radio and television editing, design in dramas and videos, directing, mass communication. These majors are subdivided into 50 different directions. What’s more, Nanjing University of the Arts provides postdoctoral positions, as well as doctoral and master's programs in such disciplines as fine arts studies, musicology, art theories, design theories, mass media, movie theories, etc.
The studies on fine arts, music, and design in the school have been listed as key academic disciplines in the “11th Five-Year construction Plan” of Jiangsu Province. The study of fine arts in the school has become the key national academic project. There are more than 1000 existing staff, including 659 full-time teachers,304 professors and associate professors, among whom 50 are Ph. D advisors and 135 are M.A. supervisors. Moreover, the school also invites more than 90 visiting professors and scholars both from home and abroad, and part-time professors to give lectures. The academic research institutions include Archaeological and Fine Arts Research Center, Music Research Center, Art Education Research Center, and Art Research Center. There are also performance troupes like experimental Orchestra, Youth Dance Troupe and other institutions in the school. The main publications of Nanjing University of the Arts include Music and Performance and Fine Arts and Design, which are both public academic journals, and Fine Arts and Design has been listed among the National Chinese core journals. Over the past 10 years, teachers and students have won different awards in national art competitions, including awards in fine arts, musical performance, performing art and dance. The competitions very from “Tao Li Cup”, “Jin Zhong Prize” to “Wen Hua Award”. The total awards won by the teachers and students in China and abroad amount to 590, among which there are 20 international awards, 185 national (ministry) Awards, 385 the provincial awards. The total publication by the teachers amounts to 350, and the papers published on national academic journals reach around 2300. The research projects funded by the state and the provincial government reseach 49.
After the development of more than one hundred years, Nanjing University of the Arts has become one of the most distinguished art universities in China and has enjoyed high reputation in China and the world.