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Guiding Principles of the Akademie Schloss Solitude

The Akademie

Akademie Schloss Solitude is an international Artist-in-Residence Program and has supported approximately 1,400 young artists from more than 120 countries since opening its doors in 1990. It creates a close-knit, global and transdisciplinary network of Solitude alumni that expands from year to year.

The name Akademie Schloss Solitude unites the belief in artistic, scientific exchange with the notion of a refuge, a credo which underlays the construction of the Schloss Solitude from the very beginning. Residencies at Akademie Schloss Solitude enable fellows to devote themselves to their research projects under favorable material and intellectual conditions. In this way, the available resources can be used in an optimal, needs-oriented manner. It is essential for the self-conception of Akademie Schloss Solitude that fellows of all disciplines are enabled to work and research free of daily pressures and presentation deadlines. Despite this, the Akademie offers the possibility to communicate and present projects to the public. Besides the realisation of numerous public events, the online platform Schlosspost allows international visibility of fellows and their projects and creates space for new digital projects.

A residential fellowship at Akademie Schloss Solitude should also be understood as a future investment, as it might sometimes only bear fruit at a later date, for both the fellow and the institution.

The founding director Prof. Jean-Baptiste Joly has been the artistic director of Akademie Schloss Solitude from January 1, 1989 until March 31, 2018. Since May 1, 2018, Elke aus dem Moore has been artistic director of Akademie Schloss Solitude.

The Akademie Schloss Solitude is financially supported by the German province of Baden-Württemberg.

»Esprit Solitude« (the Solitude spirit)

An example of late-Baroque style, poised on a hill overlooking the cultural and industrial city of Stuttgart, the Akademie Schloss Solitude has developed into an important global network for the international art scene. In harmony with the castle's location and history, Solitude is a retreat and »free zone« for art and life. But it also has a public face as an exhibition venue, innovative laboratory and arena for discourse. The Akademie's fellows and guests use it as an artistic incubator, a projection screen; a place to make lasting connections or as an opportunity to realize a project without having to conform to conventions. The institution represents an open concept of art and intentionally allows its guests to influence and shape it. 


Duke Carl Eugen had the late-Baroque Solitude Castle built between 1763 and 1769 as a hunting lodge and summer residence. Soon, however, he began using the residence for the Hohe Karlsschule (Carl's High School) Military Academy, whose students included Friedrich Schiller. Solitude was later used for an array of functions, including military hospital, restaurant, prison and student dormitory. The two officers and cavalier's buildings have housed the living, working and exhibition areas of the Akademie Schloss Solitude since 1990.


The Akademie Schloss Solitude has 45 furnished live/work studios and three guest studios. The building also has a lecture hall, two workshops, a library, a cafeteria and additional public areas. Exhibitions, symposia, performances and other events take place primarily at the Akademie. The Akademie has used a renovated timbered barn on the castle grounds to host classical concerts since 2008 and also runs a project space on Römerstasse in Stuttgart's city center.

Fellowships and jury selection

The fellowship program is directed at artists up to 40 years old. Students are not eligible. Between 50 and 65 live/work residencies are awarded every two years. In addition, projects and publications can be sponsored.
Applications are accepted in the following spheres of practice: VISUAL (visual arts and media), AURAL & PHYSICAL (music and performing arts), DIGITAL/Digital Solitude (digital art, gaming, digital journalism, digital publishing), SPATIAL (architecture and design), TEXTUAL (literature and language), SOCIETAL/COMMUNAL-BASED WORK (education, mediation, theory), SCIENTIFIC/art, science & business (humanities, social, natural and economic sciences).

For the first time in its 30-year history, Akademie Schloss Solitude is expanding its profile with the addition of a thematic focus to the 2019 application round for fellows joining the Akademie in 2020–2021. From 2020 onward, Akademie Schloss Solitude in cooperation with KfW Stiftung is launching a new program with a specific content-related focus, which a group of seven fellows is invited to investigate in any way they wish over a period of nine months. With this thematic focus, the Akademie wishes to consolidate the importance accorded by society to transdisciplinary and discursive-artistic work, providing content-related momentum. An independent international jury selects all fellows. The jury is being selected by a committee of experts. Fellowships are granted over a period of six, nine or twelve months.

Projects and cooperations

The Akademie's concept includes operating in the zone that falls between the private and public. The Akademie and its fellows thus offer a look into the creative process behind the castle walls with exhibitions, readings, performances, concerts and symposia. In addition, the Akademie regularly publishes publications by fellows and their guests.
Initiated in 2002, the art, science & business program is dedicated to the dialogues between art, science and economics and has developed into an important source of inspiration both inside and outside the Akademie. The program organizes symposia, lecture series, and workshops, often in cooperation with other art and economic institutions.
In addition to its numerous regional cooperations, the Akademie maintains exchange programs with eastern European art and cultural organizations, among them the Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland; the József Attila Circle in Budapest, Hungary; Station Service for Contemporary Dance in Belgrade, Serbia; and POGON, Zagreb Center for Independent Culture and Youth in Zagreb, Croatia.