The Städelschule dates back to the testament of Frankfurt merchant Johann Friedrich Städel in 1817. With his bequest he made it possible to establish the ‘Städelsches Kunstinstitut’. This allowed for the founding of a school for talented young students as well as public access to his collection of art. His institute was concerned with an assessment of traditional and contemporary art as well as architecture. Over the years two different institutions developed: the Städel Museum www.staedelmuseum.de and the Städelschule.
The Städelschule is an international academy; this applies to both teachers and students. Around 60 % of the students come from abroad. The exhibition space, Portikus www.portikus.de, has also added to the school's international reputation. Since 1987 Portikus has been part of the Städelschule. Artists from all over the world exhibit there and the students at the academy profit from this in a variety of ways.
Over the years Portikus has developed into a leading centre for experimental art in Germany. At the same time, the art scene in Frankfurt/Main has been enriched by over 150 exhibitions.