Warburg Models: Buildings as Bilderfahrzeuge

Architecture and interiors were crucial for Aby Warburg’s interrogation of culture, a focus that was at once intellectual, visceral, historical, and contemporary. As well as exploring how architecture had shaped systems of cultural orientation in the past, Warburg and his followers were involved a continual process of architectural commissioning in the present. Between 1923 and 1958 designs were initiated for a collection of buildings, interiors, and exhibitions, as the Warburg Library moved through a series of homes, first in Hamburg and then in London. All these projects provided opportunities for expressing the relationship between architecture, intellectual order, and memory.

Warburg Models: Buildings as Bilderfahrzeuge sheds new light on Warburg’s involvement with architecture, portraying six building projects from archival material. Detailed architectural models made by students at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and accompanying contributions from Dag Erik Elgin, Uwe Fleckner, Elizabeth Sears, Bill Sherman, and Claudia Wedepohl, show how architectural repetition, reinscription, and movement shaped a seminal research institution.

“The buildings that housed Aby Warburg’s library were designed by some of the most prominent Modernists, and employed the latest in communication and information techniques. This original and beautiful book reconstructs the architectural journey of the Warburg Institute, adding a new dimension to the disciplinary insights developed there: the vehicular migration of images across time and place.”

Caroline van Eck
Professor of Art History, University of Cambridge.



Originally posted Dec 4, 2023. Latest revision Dec 4, 2023.

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