Professor Tim Anstey (Oslo School of Architecture and Design) – The Tenant’s Furniture: re-inscribing the Warburg Institute

From the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg in Hamburg, developed from 1924 to 1926, to the amazing scheme that Aby Warburg and Fritz Saxl worked out for the Hamburg Planetarium, completed in 1930 after Warburg’s death; from the re-housing of the Warburg Library at Thames House in London in 1934, and an unbuilt project for a cottage outside London commissioned by Gertrud Bing and Fritz Saxl in 1935, to the temporary location of the Warburg at the Imperial Institute in Kensington from 1937, and the various schemes for a new building that Saxl, Henri Frankfort and Bing worked on with the University of London between 1945 and 1958, architectural projects occupied the directors of the Warburg Institute during twenty-five out of thirty-four years.

In these buildings and interiors, patterns of use were continually invented, re-inscribed and adapted. This lecture provides a slide-show of some of that history and suggests how the experience of earlier environments, and the experience of commissioning them, is built in to the design of the Institute’s current building on Woburn Square.

Tim Anstey is an architectural historian and Director of the PhD Programme at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design in Norway.

This event is part of the Director’s Seminar Series, which brings leading scholars to the Institute to share new research and fresh perspectives on the key issues in their fields.

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