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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He wanted to show how the motifs of antiquity, via the detour of the orient, survived into the Renaissance and beyond. This series of titles indicates both the experimental talas of the project and the difficulties to develop an analysis of cultural phenomena by means of a terminology from the natural sciences. He was now interested in applying the methods of natural science to the human sciences.

Epistemology of Wandering, Tree and Taxonomy

Skip to main content. 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. The Hopi of Arizona were already famous for their snake dance and although April was too early in the year to see this tourist attraction, the time he spent with the Hopi was a most important part of his long journey.

They meet regularly at the 8. As a matter of course he made use of modern techniques of reproduction in order to develop an “instrument” of knowledge on this basis. The graphic design starts with a tableau Fig. The three schemata represent three figures of knowledge belonging to different eras of the history of science; they are like emblems of a mythological, a pre-modern and a modern mode of constructing the world and the order of things. 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.

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

They help in gathering ideas and illustrating presentations while always remaining flexible. Die Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg: Research is thus more than just objective and empirical exploration that is legitimized in itself by its unforseen discoveries. Contents – Previous document – Next document.

And this is also to be regarded as a modern survival or return of an ars combinatoria from the hermetic and cabalistic traditions of knowledge. 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 atlxs the limited number of publications in relation to the lenght and intensity of his studies; and finally the complexity mneemosyne 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 warbufg intensity and scrutiny of his being a detective of cultural history in all its details Der liebe Gott steckt im Detail.


Heckscher and thereby continued to write the history of an idea, the survival of antiquity in different cultures. Warburg — was a pioneer of the modern study of art and visual culture.

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: By this, Warburg’s method of Iconology became one of the most applied methods in art history, even though people associated it more with the Warburg Institute and did not read his writings in detail.

Warburg was used to work with sets of images and already in he spoke generally of a kulturwissenschaftliche Bildgeschichte.

The Mnemosyne Atlas

Munich 2p. This situation changed when, maybe by accident, scholars and biographers in the Warbuurg States, in England, France and Germany, started re-reading his texts after the war and realized how much it had to to with all of their single disciplines. For the most part the subject matter of these texts remains in the field of cultural, religious and social phenomena and within the history of rational knowledge and its relation to magic or mystical traditions.

At the heart of his research was the legacy of the Classical World, and the transmission of classical representation, in the most varied areas of western culture through to the Renaissance.

Warburg used his “laboratory of the mind” so he said to cure the world from the ignorances of its heritage, making the reader in his lecture room a “patient” to be cured warbutg narrow-mindedness, from the defects of western culture and psychic dependence. Aby Warburg, System als Umfangsbestimmung. Warburg died on the 26 th of October By re-reading Warburg, it was realized that every page of his printed articles corresponds to pages of manuscript, warbugg of notes and hundreds of books.

The Mnemosyne Atlas, October 1929

And there one comes across several diagrams and tableaux well known from the history of science. In Warburg and his wife took up residence in Florence. The contrast evident in the painting between the constricting dress of the matrons and the lightly dressed, quick-footed figure on the far right serves as an illustration of the virulent discussion around concerning the liberation of female clothing from the standards of propriety imposed by a reactionary bourgeoisie.


This coin expressed not only the importance of Portugal in sea-trade but also stood for the tolerance of liberal Hamburg that accepted Portuguese merchants of all confessions to live and work in the city.

After Bings comment to this Warburg, at half past four in the morning, comes up with the following proposal:. The most famous photo of the trip shows Warburg holding a half naked dancer resting.

Cushing had lived for years with the Zuni in New Mexico and fascinated Warburg wanted to see atlss Pueblos for himself. 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. Leaving behind the alternative of an ascending or descending tree, derivation is here projected into the horizontal plane.

Resources in your library Resources in other libraries.

The tree as a schema originating from pre-modern kinship functions here as the graphic palimpsest of the whole project but it disappears in the alphabetic order of articles in the published volumes. Il cosmo incantato di Schifanoia. It is obvious that it was impossible to develop this kind of survey any further into a complete system because his subject matter did not fit the taxonomic order of things.

Other parts are the Warburg Archiv that contains original abh copied documents of his history as well as all his publications, and the Archive of Scholarly Emigration.

ab Whereas such an endeavour is only possible with the support of innumerous contributors, the post-encyclopaedic atlas is often engendered by the obsession of a single author and based on his own collection gathered together over decades.

His memory was never lost among scholars like Jean Seznec Survival of the pagan godsPierre Bourdieu On the symbolic formsFrancis Yates, and through them it became known among artists, journalists, and filmmakers.

Different in size and attitude, it somehow tried to preserve the interdisciplinary idea and the classification system of Warburg, but was soon forced to abandon the open structure as it grew to one of the biggest art atllas libraries in the world. There is no conference where his name wouldn’t be mentioned at least once. From the beginning, the logic of the Bilderatlas was problematic, as the different screens had to mediate between problems on different levels: In the end, Warburg became one of those tragic names of academic life that are always mentioned with reveration, but no longer really read.

Syndication Issue feed Document feed. The Hamburg cultural scientist Aby M.