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An exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, curated by Roberto Ohrt and Axel Heil in cooperation with the Warburg Institute.

In the 1920s, Aby Warburg created his so-called Bilderatlas Mnemosyne, tracing recurring visual themes and patterns across time, from antiquity to the Renaissance and beyond. His approach provides inspiration for today’s visually and digitally dominated world. For the first time ever, all 63 panels of the Atlas have been recovered from Warburg’s original images and will be available to view in a special display at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin.

The exhibition restores almost completely the last documented version of the 1929 atlas with the original illustrations. In collaboration with the Warburg Institute in London, the curators Roberto Ohrt and Axel Heil located most of the 971 illustrations from the 400,000 objects in the Institute’s Photo Collection and Library to show Warburg’s unfinished magnum opus in its entirety for the first time since his death. 

NB: With a new lockdown taking place in Germany, the exhibition at HKW closed a few weeks early on 5 November 2020. A virtual tour of the HKW exhibition is now available.

Image: Aby Warburg with Gertrud Bing and Franz Alber in front of Warburg’s panel design, Rome, Palace Hotel, May 1929