In 1735 a school was founded for the palace decorators in connection with the architect Tessin's construction of the new royal palace.

In this new school, following the French model, artists were to be given a more theoretical education which would sparate this new artistian class from the skilled handicraft practitioners of the age. In 1773 the Academy's building division was changed into a full architecture department.

After the founding of KTH (The Royal Institute of Technology) in 1876, architectural history and restoration art.

It was not until 1870 that the Academy could move into its premises at Fredsgatan 12, as the building up to then had been utilized for provisional arrangement. The house was a gift from the moldmaker, Gerhard Meyer, and "Mejan", the nickname for the college, is probably derived from his name.

In 1978 the Royal Institute of Art became an independent university under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Research.

In 1995 the college moved into new workshops and studios on the island of Skeppsholmen.