University of Chicago Press, 444 pp., $45 Dreamland of Humanists: Warburg, Cassirer, Panofsky, and the Hamburg School By Emily J. Levine
By Ingrid Rowland
Formulas for Pathos
The origins of art history in a city.
Aby knew his own mind. At thirteen,
around the time the photograph was tak·
en, he made a deal with his twelve·year·old
brother Max: iI Max would promise to buy
Aby all the books he wanted Ior the rest
oI his liIe, Aby would hand over his des·
ignated position in the Iamily bank. Both
brothers were as good as their word. Max
Warburg, the illustrious banker, would lat·
er declare that “this contract was certainly
the most careless oI my liIe,” and it would
cost him dearly over the years. By I9I4,
Aby Warburg’s personal library numbered
I5,000 volumes, many oI them manu·
scripts or rarities Irom the earliest days
oI printing. Max and the three younger
Warburg brothers, Felix, Paul, and Fritz,
continued to subsidize their eldest broth·
er’s bibliomania up to and beyond his
death in I929. Aby called the resulting
collection his Kulturwissenschaftliche Bib-
liothek Warburg or Warburg Library oI Cul·
tural Science, and he intended the choice
and the arrangement oI the volumes on
the library’s shelves to create bridges be·
tween disciplines that he himselI saw no
reason to separate.
Aby was also crazy. Today we would call
him bipolar, he alternated periods oI ela·
tion with dark despondency. Considering
the circumstances under which he lived, a
wealthy, hard·driven }ewish citizen oI the
in I879 shows thirteen·year·old Abraham
Warburg among his classmates, conspicu·
ous Ior his dark coloring and the mischie·
vous, bemused expression on his Iace. Aby
is obviously a handIul. He dominates this
solemn group portrait as dehnitely as he
dominated his boisterous and numerous
Iamily, seizing attention with his quick wit
and his tempestuous moods.
Ernst Cassirer, Max Warburg, Aby Warburg, and Erwin Panofsky







German Reich and the Weimar Republic,
he had much to be despondent about.
Lmily }. Levine’s  book details the contra·
dictions and conIusions oI }ewish liIe in
Hamburg, with ancient religious traditions
suddenly vying with modern currents oI
thought, and ancient caution competing
with tentative hopes when }ews at last be·
gan to breach the barriers oI anti·Semitism
in German society. Focusing on Aby War·
burg’s library and two oI its most illustri·
ous users, the philosopher Lrnst Cassirer
and the art historian Lrwin PanoIsky, she
reveals the ways in which the distinctive
qualities oI a single place conditioned the
development oI ideas in a larger sense to
create a “Hamburg School” oI thought,
a school intimately connected with }ew·
ish experience in Imperial and Weimar
Germany. Her supremely well·educated,
well·connected protagonists would even·
tually have  the means to escape Irom
Germany and the worst ravages oI Nation·
al Socialism, as, at the very last possible
minute, did Aby’s books, but theirs is still
a tragic story.
In arguing Ior the importance oI place
and social setting in the Iormation oI ideas,
Levine crosses as many scholarly disci·
plines as Warburg’s Library oI the Science
oI Culture did in its heyday. Dreamland of
Humanists begins by outlining the history
oI Hamburg (roughly between the revo·
lutions oI I848 and the advent oI the Na·
zis) together with its distinctive Iorms oI
cultural liIe. Through detailed analysis oI
Warburg, Cassirer, PanoIsky, and the Ham·
burg School oI thought that Iormed around
them, Levine illustrates how this commer·
cial city, Ior all its apparent limitations,
turned out to provide a uniquely hospita·
ble setting Ior the exchange oI ideas. The
novel propositions that this trio oI thinkers
would Iormulate about art, symbolism, and
imagery have shaped more than the course
oI modern art history, they are also unwit·
tingly responsible Ior Dan Brown’s improb·
able hero Robert Langdon, whose hctitious
held oI expertise, “symbology,” is a direct
outgrowth oI the “pathos·Iormulas,” “sym·
bolic Iorm,” and “iconology” developed by
the Hamburg School oI philosophy and his·
tory oI art in connection with the Warburg
Library oI the Science oI Culture.
Luropean port, with rotten weather and
a superb location. From the thirteenth
through the seventeenth century, it
belonged to the commercial cartel known
as the Hanseatic League, and owing to
those origins as an independent city·state
it continued to go its own way aIter the
political uniIication oI Germany in I870.
At the end oI the hIteenth century, Ham·
burg was one oI the places where Sep·
hardic }ews settled aIter their expulsion
Irom Spain in I492 and Portugal in I497.
There they were compelled to work as
moneylenders because so many other pro·
Iessions were barred to them. From the
mid·sixteenth century onward, Hamburg’s
Christian community adopted an austere
Protestantism that meshed with a corre·
spondingly austere version oI }udaism. For
Christians and }ews alike, then, personal as·
pirations were kept in line by an overriding
emphasis on community.
By proIession, the citizens oI Hamburg
were sailors, shopkeepers, innkeepers, and
merchants rather than landed aristocrats,
and their city thereIore lacked the kinds
oI cultural institutions that kings, bishops,
and aristocrats tended to Ioster, amenities
such as universities, opera houses, art col·
lections. When cultural institutions hnally
came to Hamburg, they came late, in the
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,
at which point they grew out oI a dißerent
social stratum, the merchant class, and re·
sponded to dißerent, more private stimuli,
as expressions oI personal hospitality and
ancient }ewish traditions oI selI·help. As
Levine shows, }ewish philanthropy played
a Iundamental role in creating the cultur·
al liIe oI nineteenth· and early·twentieth·
century Hamburg, a cultural liIe that de·
pended almost entirely on private patron·
age and aimed at a more egalitarian, practi·
cal audience than the elaborately stratihed
social layers oI Berlin, Munich, and Vienna.
At the same time, the }ews oI Hamburg
were careIully circumspect about their in·
volvement in public liIe. A }ewish merchant
or proIessor could move only so Iar within
German social circles, although Hamburg’s
Protestant burghers were more accommo·
dating than most. Both Aby Warburg and
Max Warburg belonged to the exclusive
Patriotic Society, the point oI reIerence Ior
most oI the city’s philanthropic eßorts, but
their Iather, Moritz, advised Max against
both a military career (in a letter oI marvel·
ous brevity: “My dearest Max, meschugge,
Your loving Iather”) and, later, against
running Ior the city Senate (warning that
he would never be considered an equal).
As one oI Hamburg’s wealthiest Iamilies,
the Warburgs Ielt the conûicting pressures
oI Iamily and religious loyalty, hope, am·
bition, and Irustration  all  with a particular
intensity. They expressed these conIlicts
as herce competition among themselves,
a herce drive to achieve, and an abiding
awareness that on the whole it was wiser
not to let the world know the Iull extent oI
their exuberance, their talents, and their
accomplishments. Moritz Warburg com·
peted madly with his brother, Siegmund,
Ialling behind personally but triumphing
through his hve sons, Iour oI whom (mi·
nus Aby) transIormed a successIul local
bank into an international powerhouse
that helped to hnance such disparate pro|·
ects as the Baghdad railroad and the U.S.
Federal Reserve. The contest between the
two Warburg sisters·in·law, Theophilie and
Charlotte, was iI anything more intense
than that between their husbands. 
Since so much oI Hamburg’s cultural liIe
occurred in the private sphere, as Levine
shows, it was conditioned signihcantly by
women, although they usually participated
on a private level as hostesses, amateur art·
ists, amateur musicians, and amateur thes·
pians rather than as proIessionals. Women
may have exerted unusual inIluence Ior
a German community, but they were still
conhned to a limited sphere oI action. In
the close·knit and closely guarded Ger·
man·}ewish world to which the Warburgs
belonged, a woman with Lmily Levine’s
scholarly talents (though she is too subtle a
writer to say so outright) would have been
compelled to expend all her energies, intel·
ligence, and historical insight on counseling
her husband, attempting to discipline her
many children, and vying with her Iriends
and relatives Ior little social victories. Lven
those women who Iit with relative ease
into a traditional wiIely role, such as the
regal Toni Cassirer, were still Iorced to
deal with the endless succession oI little
in|ustices to which they and their hus·
bands were continually sub|ected because
oI their religion, long beIore the extreme
humiliations to which National Socialism
would expose them.
Hamburg may have been a tight·knit,
provincial city in many respects, but its
immemorial merchant tradition also com·
pelled its citizens to keep a close eye on
the rest oI the world. The civic art gallery,
the Kunsthalle, opened as late as I869,
but its Iirst director, AlIred Lichtwark,
made an instant splash by collecting avant·
garde work by the French Impressionists—
Aby Warburg wondered how
and why images could
trigger such powerful emotions.
PAGE 48 JULY 14, 2014
Ioreigners!—and “rediscovering” German
artists such as Caspar David Friedrich. As
a newcomer to the cultural sphere, Licht·
wark had nothing to lose by making bold
decisions. As Levine notes, “Hamburg’s
uncultivated cultural world could provide
Iertile ground Ior an ambitious visionary.”
It certainly provided Iertile ground Ior
Aby Warburg, and through him Ior the
people whose lives were transIormed by
his library and his ideas. (By a similar in·
eßable alchemy, several decades later, the
clubs and brothels oI Hamburg’s inIamous
red·light district would transIorm a grubby
rock band Irom Liverpool called the Beat·
les into a quartet oI serious musicians.)
his brother, Aby Warburg decided to be·
come an art historian. This was a brand·
new proIession in the late nineteenth
century, a proIession greatly Iacilitated by
the new medium oI photography, which
enabled scholars to keep extensive,
inIormative visual records oI the
things they had seen as a supplement
to written notes. Aby collected photo·
graphs as eagerly, as imaginatively, as
he collected books. He assembled his
photographs Ior a specihc purpose:
he wondered how and why images
could trigger such powerIul emotions.
Hamburg’s most Iamous Lnlighten·
ment intellectual, Gotthold Lphraim
Lessing, had addressed the same
question in his essay “Laocoön,” a poignant
meditation on the relationship between
beauty and sußering that Iocused on an
ancient marble statue group unearthed in
Rome in I506. The sculpture, signed by its
three Greek creators, portrays the Tro|an
priest Laocoön and his two sons wrapped
in the coils oI two gigantic deadly snakes,
slowly sußocating to death. Lessing marvels
that the hgures can provide such pleasure
with their beautiIul bodies and exquisite
surIace polish as they writhe and grimace
in their private agony. (Lessing,  amazingly,
might have worked Irom engravings and
a plaster cast oI the sculpture rather than
the real ob|ect.) 
Aby Warburg marveled at this mystery,
too. AIter studying art history at three diI·
Ierent universities in Germany Irom I886
to I888, he spent a year in Florence doing
research Ior his doctoral thesis on Botticel·
li’s Birth of Venus and Primavera, he com·
pleted it in I892 and it was published a
year later. In I898, he returned to Florence
with his bride, the painter Mary Hertz. The
couple would spend Iour and a halI years
in Tuscany, where Aby began, Iollowing
Lessing’s lead, to search Ior what he would
term “Iormulas Ior pathos,” Pathosform-
el, visual triggers that set oß an automatic
emotional response in viewers. He built his
growing collection oI photographs around
this idea and called the collection “Mne·
mosyne,” the Greek word Ior “memory.”
Like his contemporary Bernard Beren·
son (they were born one year apart, Ber·
enson in I865, Warburg in I866), Warburg
took special delight in the sinuous lines
oI late·hIteenth·century Florentine paint·
ing and sculpture, aware that these works
had been inspired in turn by the era’s re·
awakened interest in ancient art (including
the remains oI Irescoed walls as well as
works oI sculpture in marble and bronze).
Both men revered Botticelli, and Warburg
also admired Botticelli’s contemporary
Ghirlandaio. (Baroque artists such as Berni·
ni, Borromini, and Caravaggio struck them
both as monstrous corruptors oI the clas·
sical ideal.) Warburg particularly loved a
Irescoed maiden by Ghirlandaio Irom the
Tornabuoni Chapel in Santa Maria Novella
in Florence, who virtually dances into a
room with a tray oI Iruit on her head, her
dress and veil billowing graceIully behind
her. Unlike Lessing’s tortured Laocoön,
with its agonized beauty, this nymph’s
Pathosformel was Warburg’s Iormula
Ior sheer bliss.
to give the study oI art an ob|ective, even
scientihc basis. For Berenson, the key to
scholarly rigor lay in the close analysis
oI visual details: iI an artist drew an ear
in a certain way, then he would contin·
ue to draw an ear in that way, and his
work could be identiIied by a series oI
these characteristic touches. Warburg, like
contemporary classical scholars such as
}ane Harrison and Francis CornIord, turned
to the new held oI anthropology. In I895,
he sailed to the United States to attend
the wedding oI his brother Felix (the three
younger Warburg brothers all emigrated to
New York, with triumphant success). Ap·
palled by what he considered the barbarity
oI New York society, Aby escaped Ior two
weeks in I896 to the deserts oI New Mexi·
co. Clad Ior the occasion in cowboy hat and
bandanna above his three·piece suit (all the
Warburgs were dapper dressers), he visited
several Hopi pueblos in New Mexico and
watched a snake·handling ceremony. He
recounted a Iairy tale Irom the brothers
Grimm to a group oI Hopi schoolchildren
and asked them aIterward to draw a bolt
oI lightning. He was thrilled when two oI
them portrayed an arrow·headed snake,
the traditional Hopi symbol, rather than a
visually accurate zigzag. The eager young
scholar could want no more vivid prooI
oI the enduring grip that symbols had on
the human mind.
In I904, Aby and Mary Warburg moved
into a new house at II4 Heilwigstrasse to
accommodate their three young children
and Aby’s nine thousand books (by I926,
however, the library required its own sep·
arate building). Ornamental brickwork
traced out the letters K B W on the Iaçade,
and with the blessing oI brother Max, the
Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg
came into being. Max Warburg is one oI
several unsung heroes in Levine’s epic.
Since he stuck so steadIastly (and selûess·
ly) to banking and public service, he is
not essential to the intellectual history oI
the Hamburg School, but he was its bul·
wark all the same. (Ron Chernow’s The
Warburgs gives Max his due.) Aby, small,
in precarious mental and physical health,
was always dependent on the help oI oth·
ers, Irom legions oI household servants to
his Iar·seeing, long·sußering wiIe, Mary, to


the two people who eventually kept his li·
brary running Ior risible salaries: Fritz Saxl,
an Austrian graduate student in art history
with an abiding interest in astrology, hired
in I9II as librarian, and Gertrud Bing, a
student oI philosophy who came to Ham·
burg to work with Lrnst Cassirer, the hrst
proIessor to be appointed, in I9I9, by the
brand·new University oI Hamburg.
renowned Cassirer was a grand coup Ior
Hamburg, a splendid way to announce
a new school moving in new directions.
A decade later, at hIty·hve, he would be·
come the hrst }ewish rector oI a German
university. But by then conditions Ior }ews
were changing rapidly Ior the worse. Cas·
sirer belonged to a group oI German phi·
losophers, many oI them }ewish, who had
begun to draw Iresh inspiration Irom Kant,
who conceived his transcendent ideas
about the human capacity Ior reason and
social |ustice while pacing the streets oI his
native Königsberg. By extending Kant’s ra·
tional philosophy, the neo·Kantians hoped
to blaze a political “third way” between
the extremes oI Marxism and capitalism,
an eIIort to which the stately Cassirer
contributed by his manner as well as his
ideas. A giIted writer with a bent Ior his·
tory, he made his reputation with a series
oI comprehensive books on large topics:
The Problem of Knowledge (I906-I950), a
multi·volume history oI philosophy Irom
the Renaissance to his own time, Substance
and Function (I9I0), Freedom and Form
(I9I6), and Kant’s Life and Thought (I9I8), all
written as a private lecturer at the Univer·
sity oI Berlin, the usual position Ior }ewish
scholars in the German system oI higher
education. The invitation to take up a real
proIessorial chair in Hamburg was thus a
change oI immense signihcance in his liIe,
in the history oI Hamburg’s university, and
in the German world oI higher education.
In the wake oI World War I, Cassirer
had begun to lose his Iaith in reason and
the neo·Kantian rational view oI human
behavior. Inspired in part by his Iriend
Albert Linstein’s explorations oI physical
relativity and in part by his own strong
spiritual bent, he turned to the investiga·
tion oI myth and what he termed “symbols
created by intellect itselI” to hnd a way to
reconcile science and aesthetics. By I92I,
he had coined the phrase “symbolic Iorm”
as a way oI accounting Ior the distinctions
between sense and intellect. It was in this
restless, receptive state oI mind that he
came into contact with Aby Warburg and
his remarkable library. 
He met the library hrst, through his ac·
quaintance with Saxl, the savagery oI the
war had sent Aby into a deep depression
and a series oI sanitariums. In I924, Saxl
arranged a meeting between the two men,
an occasion oI tremendous signihcance Ior
both. As the Warburg library provided Cas·
sirer with a means to articulate his compli·
cated thoughts, Cassirer’s compassionate
companionship guided Aby back to health.
Kulturwissenschaftliche Bibliothek Warburg, Hamburg, 1926
JULY 14, 2014 PAGE 50
The relationships were never simple. War·
burg’s mental agitation had squelched his
scholarly productivity, which led him to
idolize Cassirer and resent Saxl, who had
kept the library going throughout Aby’s
stays in the hospital. Cassirer regarded the
Warburg Library as a virtual portrait oI his
own mind, a place where Linstein, Freud,
and modern anthropology could keep com·
pany with the ancient Greeks and Romans. 
galvanized another bright young scholar
in Hamburg. He was Lrwin PanoIsky, who
was appointed Iull proIessor oI philosophy
at Hamburg in I926, an exceedingly rare
honor Ior a }ew, Iollowed by appointment
as dean oI the Iaculty in I930-I93I. A scin·
tillating teacher, PanoIsky applied Cassirer’s
aesthetics to the Italian hIteenth century in
an inIluential essay, in I927, called “Per·
spective as Symbolic Form,” beIore moving
on to a coin a term oI his own—iconology—
to reIer to the systematic study oI images.
As short and homely as Cassirer was tall
and stately, the merry PanoIsky reveled in
his nickname, “Pan,” the libidinous ancient
Greek goat·god oI high living and pan·like
terror. In the University oI Hamburg’s hrma·
ment, he really was Pan to Cassirer’s Olym·
pian Zeus, as histrionic and capricious as
a pagan god.
It is one oI history’s dreadIul ironies that
Cassirer’s term as rector oI the Universi·
ty oI Hamburg, in I929-I930, should have
coincided with the onset oI the Great De·
pression, the terrible German inûation cri·
sis, and the growing power oI |ingoist and
anti·Semitic elements in German politics.
Ironically, he completed a book called Phi-
losophy of the Enlightenment in I932, as the
clouds began to gather in Lurope. In the
spring oI I929, Cassirer accepted an invi·
tation to debate the younger German phi·
losopher Martin Heidegger at a conIerence
in Davos, Switzerland. Levine provides a
detailed analysis oI this debate, which pit·
ted the genteel, rehned Cassirer against the
blunt, brash Heidegger in a conûict oI gen·
erations as well as philosophies (a sub|ect
on which Peter Gordon’s Continental Divide:
Heidegger, Cassirer, Davos deserves special
mention).  The students who attended this
short course tended to side with Heidegger,
whose blunt emphasis on studying concrete
things (he described it as phenomenolo·
gy) and aggressive relativism they Iound
more attractive than Cassirer’s reasoned
disquisitions on Iorm and symbolism. The
subsequent course oI philosophy in the
twentieth and twenty·hrst centuries still re·
ûects that choice, although the debate hap·
pened almost a century ago. Heidegger, oI
course, became a member oI the Nazi Par·
ty, by whose eßorts Cassirer and PanoIsky
would soon be compelled to escape Irom
Germany and live out their lives in exile.
Levine’s insightIul account oI this show·
down suggests that the students’ reactions
to the two debaters were conditioned not
only by philosophical criteria but also by
their own Ieelings about gentlemen oI the
old school and young men on the move,
about }ews and German patriotism, about
reasoned argument and emotive demagogu·
ery. Heidegger’s intellect was immensely se·
ductive, as a young }ewish student named
Hannah Arendt discovered in spite oI all the
National Socialist cant.
stock·market crash in October I929. He
missed Cassirer’s tumultuous, dimcult term
as rector oI the University oI Hamburg, the
Great Depression, the rise oI National So·
cialism, and the elevation oI anti·Semitism
Fritz Saxl, ca. 1930


Here nothing moves across the even sky,
and nothing moves the mile of dusty corn.
Nearby, the red house sleeps beneath a tree,
the house he put there, near the pine he planted
some past September, waiting for the weather
and corn to work out all the final details.
March lion.
March lamb.
April showers.
May flowers.
Soon June’s
soft scion.
Then August’s
battering ram.
October sours
May bowers.
The Forecast
By Joshua Mehigan
most vibrantly alive in the presence oI its
inventor. (Happily, these latter·day tutelary
geniuses are still very much in evidence in
their creations.) A century aIter Aby’s hey·
day, it is not immediately apparent that a
Warburgian arrangement oI books, that is,
a choice collection arranged alphabetically,
will stimulate a more productive train oI
thought than, say, the Dewey Decimal Sys·
tem or the Library oI Congress, both these
classihcation systems were also the product
oI brilliant and wide·ranging minds, and
there, too, the physical rubbing together oI
book and book can ignite the spark oI new
ideas. The Vatican Library’s arrangement
oI books, Ior a variety oI historical reasons,
is simply weird—it has absorbed entire
collections, each with its own cataloguing
system based on such various principles as
size, sub|ect, and date oI acquisition, but it
is hard to imagine a more inspiring place
to read, and think, and build castles in the
air. Lmily Levine shows how crucially time,
place, and people can aßect what we hnal·
ly study and ponder, but in the end, iI we
are lucky, we all make our own Dreamland
oI Humanists with the materials at hand. ○
Ingrid Rowland is a professor at the Rome
campus of the University of Notre Dame
School of Architecture and the author, most
recently, of iROm iOmiEII: TuE AiTER·
LIiE Oi A ROmAN TOvN (Belknap).
to German state policy. (Max Warburg,
ever Aby’s alter ego, would experience
them all.) Cassirer ûed hrst to Sweden and
then, with the outbreak oI war, to the Unit·
ed States, where he taught hrst at Yale and
then at Columbia. He died in I945 at the
age oI seventy.
By I93I, “Pan” PanoIsky, not yet Iorty,
was already alternating terms at New York
University with terms at Hamburg, when
the Nazis came to power two years later, he
simply stayed in New York, moving eventu·
ally to the Institute Ior Advanced Study at
Princeton, along with other }ewish exiles
such as Linstein and the historian Felix Gil·
bert. Once he arrived in the United States,
PanoIsky wrote exclusively in Lnglish, which
had the eßect, Levine laments, oI blunting
the subtlety oI his writing. Yet his Lnglish
prose was sumciently vibrant, persuasive,
witty, and inIectiously enthusiastic to make
the diminutive PanoIsky a giant in his held,
with books that have become classics oI art
history: Studies in Iconoloy (I939), Early
Netherlandish Painting (I953), Renaissance
and Renascences in Western Art I960). All oI
these works are written in a lucid, delight·
Iul style that has been matched by Iew oI
his successors. Her assessment oI PanoIsky
is the one aspect oI Levine’s account that
smells too much oI the lamp and not enough
oI the aesthete.
In the American setting, Dora PanoIsky
also came into her own as a scholar Ior the
hrst time. The couple was known among
Iriends as “PanDora.” When Dora died,
Pan married a beautiIul Bavarian Gentile
named Gerda Soergel and returned brieûy
to Germany, as he declared, simply to meet
the in·laws. With its wide range oI scholarly
disciplines, notably including the sciences,
the Institute Ior Advanced Study provided
all the PanoIsky Iamily with an ideally stim·
ulating environment, his two sons, WolI·
gang and Hans, would become physicists.
For his part, Pan was convinced that New
York, not Lurope, had become the real
center Ior art history.
Aby Warburg’s library narrowly missed
destruction, but through the |oint eßorts
oI PanoIsky, Max Warburg, Fritz Saxl, and
another Cassirer student, Ldgar Wind, the
books were moved to London in I933,
along with Saxl himselI and Gertrud Bing.
In I944, the Warburg Library became
the nucleus Ior a new academic center,
the Warburg Institute oI the University oI
London, under whose auspices the hold·
ings have grown to 350,000 books, ten
times the size oI Aby’s original collection.
Transplantation inevitably changed the li·
brary’s character. Saxl’s Iascination with
astrology encouraged research into other
areas oI Renaissance culture that diverged
Irom modern science: topics such as mag·
ic, mysticism, what Ldgar Wind called, in
an important book, Pagan Mysteries of the
Renaissance. Thus Aby Warburg’s eßorts to
hnd a scientihc basis Ior aesthetic respons·
es turned, in subsequent generations, into
a more specialized search Ior the legacy oI
classical antiquity in the Luropean Renais·
sance. Aby’s huge, unIocused collection oI
photographs, Mnemosyne, was dimcult to
use, and it exists now as a historical docu·
ment, in its stead, in I948, the young schol·
ars Phyllis Pray Bober and Ruth Rubinstein
created what would become the Census oI
Antique Works oI Art Known in the Renais·
sance. Today, in many ways, Princeton’s
Institute Ior Advanced Study probably
comes closer to Aby Warburg’s vision Ior
his library than the Warburg Institute itselI.
The Warburg Library may have pre·
sented Lrnst Cassirer with the map oI his
own mind, but Ior many student users, as
Levine notes, it was a Iorbidding and in·
comprehensible place, the reIuge oI a select
Iew. Like the marvelous library oI Werner
Oechslin in Linsiedeln, Switzerland, and Da·
vid Wilson’s Museum oI }urassic Technolo·
gy in Culver City, CaliIornia, it was probably

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