Warburg as Curator
On January 30, seven scholars joined Dean Peter N. Miller in a day-long workshop devoted to “Warburg as Curator.” The purpose of the event was to refine thinking towards a Focus Gallery exhibition scheduled for Fall 2016.
During the 1920s, a decade when he published nothing, Aby Warburg (1866-1929), the influential founder of the Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg (after 1933 the “Warburg Institute”), delivered a series of lectures, accompanied by panels on which he tacked images of paintings, objects, buildings, drawings, maps, stamps, and advertising. It appears that he used these panels as the armature for telling his cultural historical stories, which were sometimes also accompanied by slides, sometimes not. Treating these panels as a kind of “space” and the arraying of objects in space as the ur-curatorial gesture, the scholars addressed Warburg as curator, a subject ignored in the recent literature about him. This inquiry in turn lead to a discussion about ways we think today about visualizing cultural historical storytelling in spaces both real and virtual.
Besides Dean Miller, the participants included Claudia Wedepohl, Warburg Institute, London; Spryros Papapetros, Princeton University; Michael Diers, Humboldt University, Berlin; Davide Stimilli, University of Colorado, Boulder; Elisabeth Sears; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Jeffrey Schnapp; Harvard University; and Ivan Gaskell, Bard Graduate Center.
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