The Warburg Institute is one of the world’s leading centres for studying the interaction of ideas, images, and society. It was founded in Hamburg by the pioneering historian Aby Warburg (1866–1929), the scholarly scion of one of Europe’s great banking families, and it was exiled to England in 1933, becoming the only institution saved from Nazi Germany to survive intact in Britain today. The Institute became part of the University of London in 1944 and has been housed since 1958 in a building designed by Charles Holden, opening onto three of Bloomsbury’s historic squares.
Warburg set out to find the roots of the Renaissance in ancient culture and ended up changing the way we see the world around us. He created a research institute that has served—during a turbulent century—as a safe haven and creative crucible for some of the world’s greatest scholars, curators, and artists.
Today, the Institute provides postgraduate courses, hosts research projects and offers a range of public programmes. It houses an open-stack library of more than 380,000 rare and modern volumes still organised using Warburg’s original structure, as well as a Photographic Collection with more than 400,000 images and one of the most complete archives of any research centre in the humanities.