Professor Elizabeth Sears (University of Michigan)
The Courtauld Institute of Art opened in 1932. The Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, staffed with significant art historians, was enabled to escape Nazi Germany in 1933 and reopen in London as the Warburg Institute in 1934 owing in good part to the efforts of the very men responsible for the creation of the Courtauld. In two lectures that draw on extensive and in part newly available archival information, the deep connections and the profound differences between the two institutions – both of which would do much to shape the development of Art History in Britain – are brought to light. The first lecture charts an interconnected history through the crises of 1936 – when the Warburg, directed by Fritz Saxl, nearly folded and the Courtauld suffered the public disaster of the resignation of its first director, W.G. Constable. The second, moving forward in time as late as the Gombrich-Blunt eras, focuses on articulated distinctions in the purposes, methods and pedagogical philosophies of each.