Aby Warburg 150. Work. Legacy. Promise.

Warburg Institute

Mon 13 - Wed 15 Jun 2016

On 13-15 June 2016, the Warburg Institute celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Aby Warburg. At the centre of this commemoration we held a conference dedicated to his work and heritage. It reclaimed the centrality of Warburg’s thought and vision not only for the London Institute but for the world of international scholarship. A large group of distinguished scholars discussed the implications of his thought for the history of art, images and cultures. The speakers in our programme not only to illuminated the past, but revealed the potential of Warburg's writings for the debate about contemporary cultural differences as well.

We are grateful to the following organisations for their support for the conference: 
Max Kohler Stiftung
Martha Pulvermacher Stiftung
Samuel H. Kress Foundation
German Federal Ministry of Education and Research / Bilderfahrzeuge Project

Organisers: David Freedberg and Claudia Wedepohl (Warburg Institute)

Speakers: Andreas Beyer, Horst Bredekamp, Robert Darnton, Lorraine Daston, Georges Didi-Huberman, Frank Fehrenbach, Uwe Fleckner, Kurt Forster, David Freedberg, Carlo Ginzburg, Christopher Johnson, Peter Miller, WJT Mitchell, Andrea Pinotti, Ulrich Raulff, Elisabeth Sears, Quentin Skinner, Anke te Heesen, Martin Treml, Martin Warnke, Marina Warner, Claudia Wedepohl, Sigrid Weigel and Cornelia Zumbusch

If you wish to watch the recordings, they can be watched here:

(individual recordings will be available at a later date on our youtube channel)



Conference Programme
Monday 13 June - Film screening at the Warburg Institute

11.00 - 12.30
Screening of Aby Warburg: Metamorphosis and Memory (60 minutes. 2016), a film by Judith Wechsler. Judith Wechsler will be present at the screening and will lead a short discussion after the film.

Tickets for this session are now sold out.


Monday 13 June - Conference proceedings at UCL Institute of Education
14.00   Registration

14.30   Welcome: David Freedberg: Aby Warburg and the Future of the Humanities

                  Session 1

14.45   Lorraine Daston: Exempla and the Epistemology of the Humanities

15.20   Andreas Beyer: Serendipity and ‘Gute Nachbarschaft’

15.55   Tea

16.15   Sigrid Weigel: Warburg’s Reading of Darwin

16.50   Christopher Johnson: Warburg's ‘Zwischenraum’: Between Hieroglyph and Diagram

17.20   Martin Warnke: The Long Road of Warburg’s 'Snail'

18:00   Respondents: Jost-Philipp Klenner and Peter Schwartz

18.30   Reception


Tuesday 14 June

9.00     Registration

             Session 2

9.25     Peter Miller: 'Kulturwissenschaft' before Warburg

10.00   Horst Bredekamp: Warburg, Berlin, the Middle Ages

10.35   Elizabeth Sears: First Contact: Panofsky meets Warburg

11.10   Coffee

11.30   Quentin Skinner: Hobbes’s Leviathan Frontispiece: Some New Observations

12.05   Carlo Ginzburg: Aby Warburg: Morphology and/or History

12.40   Respondents: Philipp Ekardt and Joacim Sprung       

13.15   Lunch

            Session 3

14.15   W. J. T. Mitchell: Method, Madness, Montage: Aby Warburg to John Nash

14.50   Frank Fehrenbach: Grisaille. The Life and Death of Images

15.25   Tea

15.45   Andrea Pinotti: Variations without Theme: Warburg and the Morphology of the Neutral

16.15   Claudia Wedepohl: Genesis without End: Warburg’s ‘großes Buch’

16.45   Robert Darnton: How did Books Reach Readers in Eighteenth-Century France?

17.15   Respondents: Hans Christian Hönes and Giovanna Targia

17.45   Close


15 June

9:00        Registration

                  Session 4

9.20        Georges Didi-Huberman: Discharged Atlas: Uprising as ‘Pathosformel’

9.55        Uwe Fleckner: Aby Warburg’s ‘Manet and Italian Antiquity’ as Psycho-Intellectual Self-  portrait

10.30     Anke te Heesen: Exhibitions: The Cultural-historical Turn of the 1970s

11.05     Coffee

11.35     Kurt W. Forster: The Past in Gestures, the Future in Memory. The Leipzig Circle of Physiologists and Warburg’s Construct of mneme

12.10     Respondents: Gerhard Wolf and Linda Báez Rubí

12.50     Lunch

                  Session 5

14.00     Ulrich Raulff: ‘Nachleben’. A Warburgian Concept and its Origins

14.35     Marina Warner: Stepping beyond Words: Narratives on the Move in Times of Conflict 

15.10     Tea

15.40     Martin Treml: Warburg´s ‘Bilderatlas’: A Tool for the Study of the History of Religion

16.15     Cornelia Zumbusch: 'Physik des Symbols'. Aby Warburg and the Energy of Art

16.50     Summing up: David Freedberg

17.30     Close