documenta is inextricably linked to the city of Kassel. Every five years the world’s most important exhibition of contemporary art puts Kassel at the center of the art world. Far away from the major art exhibition, smaller galleries, many of which are in the southern part of Kassel, present the positions of innovative young artists. It is often students and alumni of the Kunsthochschule Kassel that actively shape the cultural life of the city by organizing exhibitions or by founding their own galleries or businesses. Discerning cinemas add to the city’s cultural offerings, regularly showing not only significant international productions, but also current films from the animation class in cooperation with the Kunsthochschule Kassel.
With around 15 museums, the city of Kassel has the third-largest museum density in Germany. Old masters and modern artists can be viewed in a wide variety of exhibitions. Schloss Wilhelmshöhe, for instance, houses the largest collection of Rembrandt outside the Netherlands, while GRIMMWELT is dedicated to the life and work of the Brothers Grimm, who lived in Kassel for 30 years. In 1779, the world’s first building conceived as a public museum was opened, the Museum Fridericianum, which is still a central site of contemporary art today, taking up, presenting, and negotiating significant positions and currents in art as well as socially relevant issues. Students at the Kunsthochschule Kassel have always been provided with the opportunity to gather their first experiences in the museum as a working field by doing internships or volunteer work at local museums.
The Kunsthochschule Kassel is situated close to the city center, at the border of Karlsaue, an urban, historical park. Shops and tram stops can be found in front of the building—and behind it lies the city’s green heart: central and yet peaceful. There are many accommodation options in the direct vicinity. In comparison to other university towns the cost of living in Kassel is lower. Thanks to the well-developed system of public transportation, all locations are easily accessible, including long-distance trains with ICE connections.