Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts established in 1953 as the Central South China Fine Arts School, which consisted of the South China Literature & Arts College, Central South China Literature & Arts Institute and the Fine Arts Department of Guangxi Art Institute.
It was initially based in Wuchang, Hubei Province, and then relocated to Guangzhou and renamed the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1958. The undergraduate course was offered in 1958. The postgraduate courses were subsequently offered in 1978. The postgraduate M.F.A. degree course was established in 1982. GAFA is one of the first authorized institutions to award M.F.A degrees in the whole of China. In 1986 it started to enrol students from foreign countries and overseas Chinese students and students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.