The Hamburg cultural scientist Aby M. Warburg (–) was a pioneer of the modern study of art and visual culture. Before the First World War, he made. In December , Warburg started to compose a work in the form of a picture atlas named Mnemosyne. In Aby Warburg began his picture atlas „Mnemosyne“ – he, his method and its use in visual studies stood fairly alone. Working with photographs was by no.

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Aby Warburg

Warburg — was a pioneer of the modern study of art and visual culture. As late as with the director Ernst Gombrich, famous for his easy-to-read “history of art” and himself being an emigrant from Vienna, a certain distance to the confusing treasures of Warburg’s collections became apprehensible in the London institute. From toWarburg concentrated his entire body of knowledge in this collection of images, which ultimately spanned 63 panels and encompassed almost a thousand individual pieces.

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Marietta —Max Adolph — and Frede C. However, in its unaccomplished form as a mobile cultural technique it implies all the flexible components which Didi-Huberman and others have associated with the technique of montage in modern art.

Gombrich observed in his biography of Warburg, that the Mnemosyne project could be brought to an end.

His refined and creative style of writing which is, indeed much easier to read than sometinmes pretended, but you have to read him very slowly ; the limited number of publications in relation to the lenght and intensity of his studies; and finally the complexity of his method that he developed and refined during his lifetime and that provoked other scholars – even friends – to draw the conclusion it may sometimes be advisable not to follow and not to believe the author in spite of the fact that he was right, due to the intensity and scrutiny of his being a detective of cultural history in all its details Der liebe Gott steckt im Detail.

Cassirer appreciated Warburg’s approach, and it encouraged him to continue his manuscript on the “symbolic forms” – an ambitious project which, in the end, resulted in a 4-volume “philosophic encyclopedia” of mankind and its symbols.

Schoell-Glass shows in how far Warburg’s work was devoted not only to the history of culture but also to their present relevance in society; she assumes that antisemitism in particular was the motor, the hidden thread or motive for a research that tried to analyze processes of western culture in order to understand and extinct the roots of superstition, of antisemitism, or political radicalism. In this respect, the entire library was moving most of the time during its setting up in Hamburg.


In making use of these capacities, the concept of history is transformed into an image-structure.

And the experiment went on. The works can be explained only by combining philological and visual analysis. Patricia Farazzi et Michel Valensi Paris pp.

Working with photographs was by no means a matter. Warburg was now able to draw on his abundant account of methods and links; he demonstrated that the structure of all paintings follows a certain zodiacal scheme that is based on oriental visual and literal sources. In this anthropological interpretation of human expressions a different interspace [ Zwischenraum ] is at stake, i.

The Mnemosyne Atlas

Reading hall with Rembrandt exhibition, For this reason Warburg who mnsmosyne Panofsky well, was one of the initiators for founding a university, improving the intellectual situation of the public and through this promoting new fields of research, and Panofsky was appointed one of its first professors together with Warburg.

When you read the early lectures mhemosyne the Warburg Library in Hamburg, you have to realize that most of them were delivered in his private home, and some of them in the absence of Warburg who had initiated it all.

Warburg suffered strong depressions and symptoms of schizophrenia, and his assistants, in particular Fritz Saxl whom you see in the left figure belowhad to manage not only the entire library but also its ongoing research for a whole couple of years. At the most one may mnmosyne the similar together under certain rubrics.

Media Art Net | Warburg, Aby M.: Mnemosyne-Atlas

The WEL is mainly based on the collections of the research department and tries to digitize and classify its contents in a new way.

Logically there have been attempts to reconstruct the original structure, in particular by Bing and Gombrich in the s, in order to demostrate the programme of Warburgian research, but all attempts have been considered as unsatisfying. He suffered from manic depression and symptoms of schizophrenia[3] and was hospitalized in Ludwig Binswanger ‘s neurological clinic in KreuzlingenSwitzerland in The original German word for Mnemosyne, the Nachleben or Afterlife, became a metaphorical term for this always ambivalent situation.

November ], Hamburg Warburg was fascinated with their still secluded culture, their architecture, ritual, their masks and their ages-old abstract painting on pottery Nampeyo had recently revived.

He then began his last project, the Mnemosyne atlas, which because of his sudden death remained unfinished. In this kind of material culture of mnemosynne atlas technique Warburg found the ideal form for presenting his idea of an Ikonologie des Zwischenraumsan iconology of interval, or better, interspace, as he called his project in his notes to Mnemosyne: Peter van Huisstede has produced electronic versions of the Bilderatlas in oder to prove their complexity as well as their history; this is an alternative of what mnemozyne be done with Warburg’s heritage.


This project had tried to apply Warburg’s methodology to a smaller but more actual aspect of artistic production: As a port city exchanging goods with trade partners from all over the world, it is no surprise that the city of Hamburg has a old relationship with Portugal. In Warburg and his wife took up mnemoysne in Florence. The remaining building in Hamburg was abused by Nazi organizations; after the war it was no longer wanted back by the Warburg Family – the loss of this institution was seemingly a too open wound to be cured; so the building was transformed into a film studio and occupied by promotion agencies, even though, from time to time, journalists or writers reminded of the unsolved problem of neglecting Warburg’s heritage.

Memoire, Raison, Imagination; in: Warburg was concerned with the question of how the pictorial world of antiquity had come back into the European cultural sphere and led the medieval world into a new era — a classic problem with a very familiar solution: During these years all the efforts of Warburg and his colleagues were dedicated to stlas endeavours, the Mnemosyne and the establishment of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg K.

Heckscher and thereby continued to write the history of an idea, the survival of antiquity in different cultures. Thanks to Voth he could also observe the preparations for this end-of-winter ceremony. He continued his work by travelling to Florence and producing a number of small studies on single works of art and their wealthy patrons, in particular bankers warburt, like the Medici or Sassetti, who mediated between the demands of civic representation and the ideal principles of high art; and, perhaps better known, by going to the United States and the reservs of the Hopi Indians inin order to study the ethnological aspects of rites and ceremonies in other cultures and their difference to or similarity with the so-called western world.

Things That Inspire Us: Aby Warburg – Mnemosyne Atlas | Curator

Library resources about Aby Atla. He did not want to be a rabbi, as his grandmother wished, nor a doctor or lawyer. The library was partly integrated into the academic structures of the young university, and Librarian Fritz Saxl finally managed to include it into the Prussian inter-library loan system, as he later succeded in making it funded by the London University.

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