Aby Warburg 150. Work. Legacy. Promise



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 by clicking on the links to each presentation below.


Conference Programme


Monday 13 June 2016 

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’

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


Tuesday 14 June 2016

             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

11.30   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       


            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

15.45   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


Wednesday 15 June 2016

            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

11.35     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

            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 

15.40     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