Studies on Aby Warburg, Fritz Saxl and Gertrud Bing
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Originally published in German, Italian and French these articles have been translated into English for the first time by the author, the former archivist of The Warburg Institute, London. Aby Warburg’s research and writings centred on images, their origins and metamorphoses, and their explanations and interpretations. The articles include discussions of Warburg’s academic work with colleagues such as James Loeb, the American Hellenist and philanthropist, and founder of the Loeb Classical Library, and with Josef Strzygoswki, the Polish-Austrian art historian of the Vienna School of Art History. Further articles include notes on Warburg’s Serpent Ritual lecture of 1923; his politico-cultural initiative in 1914-1915; his work on caricature, in particular the Struwwelpeter topic; and discussions on the topic of Judaica.
The Viennese art historian Fritz Saxl became his trusted friend and collaborator helping to gather Warburg’s large collection of books and photographs into the foundation of an academic institution in Hamburg in the 1920s, and then for a second time in London in the 1930s. The Warburg Institute has become one of the world’s leading centres of intellectual history.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Personal correspondences and zodiacal alignments. Warburg’s comments on the Palazzo Schifanoia lecture in 1912 / Chapter 2. ‘IDEA VINCIT’, ‘The victorious, flying Idea’. An artistic commission by Aby Warburg / Chapter 3. A fight against windmills. On Rivista Illustrata, Warburg’s pro-Italian publishing initiative / Chapter 4. On the origins of the Serpent Ritual Lecture. Motive and motivation. Healing through remembrance / Chapter 5. The František Pospíšil–Warburg correspondence in the Warburg Institute / Chapter 6. Facets of a friendship: Aby Warburg and James Loeb. Friends, scholars, relatives, patrons of the art / Chapter 7. Fritz Saxl and Aby Warburg: appreciation of a friendship. Evaluating collaboration, tracing contacts to the ‘Vienna School’ / Chapter 8. A trouvaille from the Warburg Institute Archive on Mandaeism and Gnosticism / Chapter 9. Warburg’s view of Strzygowski as reflected in the Aby Warburg Correspondence / Chapter 10. Bringing light into darkness. Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl in conversation on Mithras / Chapter 11. Caricature as war effort: Aby Warburg’s ‘new style in word and image’, 1914-1918. / Chapter 12. ‘…probably latent antisemitism’ / Chapter 13. Aby to Gisela Warburg: against the ‘Pioneers of This-Worldliness’. / Chapter 14. ‘What I represent as a Jew, I can also represent as a Catholic’. On Alfons Augustinus Barb’s scholarly career and his change of religion / Chapter 15. Aby Warburg’s interpretation of the Russian translation of Struwwelpeter and the political parodies Struwwelhitler – A Nazi Storybook and Schicklgrüber. / Chapter 16. The ‘Palazzo Potetje’: Mary Warburg’s triptych / Chapter 17. The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg seen through its archive in London and Dorothea McEwan’s other research interests. Interview by Céline Trautmann-Waller with Dorothea McEwan, 2 August 2018
Dorothea McEwan was appointed the first archivist of the Warburg Institute Archive, London in 1993. Her research interests include Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl and Ethiopian illuminated manuscripts and Ethiopian history. In 2008 she was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, in 2017 she was elected Associate Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and in 2021 she was awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria.