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Weimar ThoughtA Contested Legacy$
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Peter E. Gordon and John P. McCormick

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691135106

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691135106.001.0001

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Aby Warburg and the Secularization of the Image

Aby Warburg and the Secularization of the Image

(p.316) 15 Aby Warburg and the Secularization of the Image
Weimar Thought

Michael P. Steinberg

Yaron Ezrahi

Princeton University Press

This chapter draws attention to the anthropological imagination of Aby Warburg, the great student of world culture and comparative mythology whose “Warburg Library,” founded in Hamburg, served as the meeting place for Weimar philosophers, historians, and cultural critics. Warburg determined the library's acquisitions from 1886 until his sudden death in October 1929. In December 1933 the library (approximately 60,000 books, plus slides, photographs, other materials, as well as the collective argument of the enterprise itself) was evacuated to London, to be linked as of 1937 to the University of London and fully incorporated into the university in 1944. The Warburg Institute's second-generation principal scholars, adherents, and administrators included Erwin Panofsky, Ernst Gombrich, Rudolf Wittkower, Edgar Wind, Frances Yates, and Anne Marie Meyer. In recent years, the methods and claims of visual culture and visual studies have embraced the legacy of Warburg's critique of formalist art history.

Keywords:   Aby Warburg, Warburg Library, Weimar Republic, world culture, comparative mythology, formalist art history

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