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Spring has finally sprung in Bloomsbury and, with the gradual lifting of restrictions, the Warburg Institute in Woburn Square is coming back to life. The sense of renewal has been extended to the building itself: after a freeze of more than a year, the ‘Warburg Renaissance’ project has now restarted and we are working to resolve the remaining design questions and raise the remaining funds (down, thanks to some very generous gifts, to c.£300k). We will resume our regular briefings on the project and the next one is at 3:30pm on Thursday 10th June: all are welcome, please email to request a link. 
If you are interested in the history of the Warburg Institute’s buildings (and would you be reading this if you weren’t?), I would also encourage you to attend the Director’s Seminar on Thursday 27th May. This special presentation will provide a sneak preview of a new exhibition opening the next day in Norway, devoted to models of the various buildings occupied by the Warburg Institute over the last century and discussing the connections between architectural space, intellectual order and cultural survival. The models have been produced as a year-long project by PhD students at the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, under the direction of Tim Anstey and Mari Lending. One of their mentors was Ellie Sampson, model-maker extraordinaire for Haworth Tompkins, the architectural practice leading the Warburg Renaissance project, and the evening will also give Ellie a chance to show off the work she has recently done on the model of our new extension in the courtyard.
This is one of many special events hosted on the Warburg’s digital channels this term, including a new short course on ‘Renaissance Art and Material Culture,’ conferences on ‘Venetian Disegno’ and the role of the drawing compass in premodern creation, lectures on Times of Festival and a Curatorial Conversation with Salvatore Settis and David Chipperfield. Do take a good look at what’s on offer: we look forward to seeing you.
Prof Bill Sherman


Getty Research Portal


For many years the Warburg Library has been contributing records to the Getty Research Portal, a gateway to digitised texts on art history, architecture, material culture and related academic areas. This is a union catalogue that amalgamates records from 38 institutions to provide access to over 180,000 works, all of which are openly accessible to any researcher. The Warburg has provided records for all volumes in its digital library as well as numerous others for PDFs of scanned works which are accessible through its catalogue. We continue to add records to the portal on a regular basis as new works are added to the digital library.


The pandemic presented all kinds of challenges but was generally good for the production of books. Late last year, the Director of the Warburg Institute, Bill Sherman, published a collaborative study of the famous collection of Louise and Walter Arensberg—which combined modern art, Renaissance books and Pre-Columbian sculptures. Hollywood Arensberg: Avant-Garde Collecting in Mid-Century L.A. was written with Mark Nelson and Ellen Hoobler and published by the Getty Research Institute. More than 12 years in the making, the book takes its readers on a wall-by-wall and room-by-room tour of the couple’s art-filled house in Hollywood, offering what gallerist and Duchamp scholar Francis Naumann described ‘the most detailed and intimate portrayal of an art collection ever presented in book form.’ The authors presented the book—and the house—in two online events hosted by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Getty Research Institute. They also talked with the Getty’s Jim Cuno on his podcast, Art + Ideas.

Find out more and purchase the book


Conference - 'Venetian Disegno: New Frontiers'

Thursday and Friday, 20 & 21 May

This digital conference brings together the latest research in the relationship between "disegno" and Renaissance Venetian art. 
Director's Seminar - 'Modelling the Warburg Institute 1926-2021'

Thursday 27 May: 6.00 - 7.30pm | with Tim Anstey, Mari Lending and PhD students of the Oslo School of Architecture and Design, and Ellie Sampson (Haworth Tompkins)
A Material World - 'The Anatomy of Ritual: Votive Body Parts in Greco-Roman Antiquity and Beyond'

Tuesday 8 June: 5.30 - 7.00pm | with Jessica Hughes (Open University)
Times of Festival - 'Bernard Palissy and Renaissance Festive Traditions'

Wednesday 9 June: 5.30 - 7.00pm | with François Quiviger (Associate Fellow, Warburg Institute)
Explore what else is on at the Warburg


Curatorial Conversations: Chris Breward (Director, National Museums Scotland)


What’s it like to become a museum director during an international pandemic? Join Bill Sherman as he discusses these and other questions with Dr Chris Breward, the new Director of National Museums Scotland.

This talk was part of our Curatorial Conversations series which brings to the Warburg curators of world-leading museums and galleries to discuss their work. Listen again to previous Curatorial Conversations

Director’s Seminar: A new look at Pico

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola has been famous for a long time – but in modern times for the wrong reason: he did not write a stirring speech about human dignity.  He earned his fame in different ways: for his fascinating life-story, his convincing criticisms of astrology and his invention of Christian Kabbalah. Brian Copenhaver’s book, Magic and the Dignity of Man: Pico della Mirandola and His Oration in Modern Memory, focuses on this last achievement and why it was neglected until the end of the last century.

A Material World: 'The Exeter Cathedral Wax Votives' 


In 1943, following the bombing of Exeter Cathedral, a trove of wax votive objects was found at the tomb of Bishop Edmund Lacey. Many were in small fragments, but one whole figure remained - a unique survival of what was once a vibrant religious practice. In this seminar, Dr Naomi Howell and Graham Fereday from Exeter University discuss the history, study and ongoing conservation of these extremely rare, fragile objects using a combination of high-definition photography, 360-degree videos and 3D-printed models.


Meet the Warburg: Rembrandt Duits, Deputy-Curator of the Photographic Collection


In this interview, we spoke with our Deputy-Curator of the Photographic Collection, Dr Rembrandt Duits. Read to discover more about his career at the Warburg, the summer short course Renaissance Art and Material Culture that he is running and what it’s like studying at the Institute.  

Read the blog

Life after the Warburg: Genevieve Verdigel

After completing her PhD at the Warburg in 2019 (for which she has been awarded this year’s Wolfgang Ratjen Award) Genevieve Verdigel is now the Getty Paper Project Fellow at the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum.

We caught up with Genevieve to find out more about her fellowship, the upcoming conference Venetian Disegno: New Frontiers that she is organising, her experience of studying at the Warburg and her plans for the future.

Read the blog

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