The Warburg Institute

The Warburg Institute

The Afterlife of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek, Hamburg and London – Traditions in the Development of the Warburg Institute: A Commemoration of the Migration in December 1933

To mark the 80th Anniversary of the move of the Warburg Institute to London two conferences are being held with the support of the City of Hamburg, one at the Warburg-Haus in Hamburg on Thursday, 12 December 2013, and one at the Warburg Institute in London on Monday, 16 December 2013. The Hamburg Conference will examine the impact of the intellectual approach of the Institute on English scholars and the London Conference will examine how relocation to England changed the intellectual approach of the Institute.

The 80th Anniversary conference will also include the launch of an international research project “Bilderfahrzeuge: Warburg’s Legacy and the Future of Iconology” funded by the German Ministry of Higher Education and Research (BMBF) over five years and with a budget of just over Euro 5 million. The objective of the project is to explore the migration of images, objects, ideas and texts in a broad historical and geographical context. Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary for Education and Research in Germany, and Dominic Lake, Head of Arts in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, will attend the project launch. The project unites five art and cultural historical Institutes as research partners, namely the Warburg Institute, the Kunsthistorisches Institute Florence, the German Forum for Art History in Paris and the Universities of Hamburg and Berlin. Seven research Fellows will be based at the Warburg Institute and one researcher at each of the other four partner institutions.

Professor Peter Mack, Director of the Warburg Institute commented “The migration of the Warburg Institute from Hamburg in 1933 constituted both an escape from disaster and a new challenge for the Institute. These conferences, which include contributions from scholars who did their research in the Institute in the 1950s when many of the staff who made the move were still active, will consider what the Warburg tradition in scholarship brought to Britain and how it adapted its work to a very different intellectual context. It will remember the tragedies of the past and reflect on what was changed and achieved through the migration.”



10.00 Registration

10.30 Official Opening of the Research Co-operation Project Bilderfahrzeuge

Mrs Cornelia Quennet-Thielen, State Secretary for Education and Research, Germany

Representative of the Department of Universities and Science, UK

Professor Peter Mack, Director of the Warburg Institute

Professor Andreas Beyer, Director, Deutsches Forum für Kunstgeschichte, Paris

Professor Gerhard Wolf, Director, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence

11.30 Coffee and reception

Opening of Migration Conference

12.00 Isabella Woldt (Hamburg): Family Matters: The Great Depression of 1929 and its Consequences for the Warburg Library

12.40 Salvatore Settis (Pisa): The Different Versions of the Mnemosyne Atlas, Including that Provided by E. H. Gombrich and Otto Fein in London around 1937

1.20 Lunch

2.20 Michael Kauffmann (Warburg Institute/Courtauld Institute): Oxford and the Warburg Institute in the Early Fifties: a Brief Reminiscence

2.30 Arnold Nesselrath (Vatican Museums Rome): The Afterlife of Nachleben

3.10 John Onians (East Anglia): The Warburg Institute’s Impact on Britain and Britain’s Impact on the Warburg

3.50 Tea

4.20 Spiridon Papapetros (Princeton): Microcosm and Macrocosm Revisited:  Proportional Analogies and Institutional Correspondences between the Warburg Library and Architectural Circles

5.00 Claudia Wedepohl (Warburg Institute): ‘Critical Detachment’: Ernst Gombrich as Interpreter of Aby Warburg

5.40 Pablo Schneider (Humboldt Berlin): Edgar Wind – from Hamburg to London. Images and Ideas


Registration details: The conference is free of charge.

To register please email giving your name, the name of your institution (if relevant) and your email address (your email will automatically be included on the list of attendees unless you email us to request otherwise).


Date and time: 16 December 2013, 10:00 – 18:00

Venue: Warburg Institute

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