Born on May 12. 1940 Considers studying medicine after finishing high school, but joins the German armed forces instead.
Attends biology, botany, and geography classes at the Reichsuniversität in Posen (now part of Poland) in his free time. Begins to consider a career in art, inspired by sculptor Wilhelm Lehmbruck’s work.
Sent to the front.
The plane Beuys is traveling in is shot down over the Crimea in the Ukraine. Beuys will later recount that he was rescued by Tartar nomads who saved his life.
Attends the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he studies under Joseph Enseling and Ewald Mataré. Graduates in 1951.
Has his first solo exhibition, at the home of brothers Franz Joseph and Hans van der Grinten, collectors of his work.
Exhibits at the Städtisches Museum Haus Koekkoek in Kleve, Germany. Appointed professor of monumental sculpture at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.