Collecting Architecture: Re-inscribing the Warburg Institute
Tim Anstey and Mari Lending
When the Warburg Institute was transferred from Hamburg to London in 1933 its scholars had been involved in two major architectural commissions within 10 years, one for the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, a purpose designed building to house Aby Warburg’s remarkable library, another for a ground-breaking scheme for a Planetarium in Hamburg. In London this pattern of commissioning would continue, as the Warburg Institute, the library attached to it, and its directors moved through a succession of homes in the years before and after World War 2. These projects included interior designs by the avant-garde architectural group Tecton during the 1930s, highly popular exhibitions that toured during the 1940s, and would culminate in the construction of a new building at Woburn Square during the 1950s. This PhD/MA seminar explores the Warburg Institute’s involvement in architecture, showing, in a variety of contexts and across varying projects, how the Warburg scholars projected a tie between architectural space and intellectual order. The course contributes to the research project Things that Move and to a proposed exhibition on the buildings of the Warburg Institute to be held in London in 2023.